The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday, accused staff and students of the Federal College of Forestry, Idi-Shin Estate, Ibadan, Oyo State holding seven of its operatives hostage.
The commission said the hostage situation affected its operatives from the Ibadan Zonal Command.
According to the EFCC, in a statement signed on Wednesday by Dele Oyewale, its Head of Media and Publicity, the operatives were on routine verification exercises of a surety, Azeez Kazeem Oluwakemi on Tuesday, when they got attacked.
EFCC said, “The operatives were in the college to authenticate the address and identity of Oluwakemi, who stood as a surety for Alakinde Khalid Kolawole, a suspected internet fraudster in the custody of the Commission.
“A surety verification exercise is a standard law enforcement practice for the perfection of bail conditions of a suspect. This fact occasioned the mission of EFCC’s operatives at the college.
“For some inscrutable reasons, students and staff of the college went on a frenzy of attacks against operatives of the EFCC, who were on an authorised assignment.
“This is in spite of the fact that the college community was duly informed about the mission of the EFCC’s team.
“The college’s Student Union President, in concert with his colleagues and some staff of the institution, reportedly ignited violent confrontation with operatives of the EFCC.”
The Commission said two main entrance gates to the college were barricaded with a car believed to be owned by one of the lecturers of the college.
It further explained that the bus that conveyed the operatives to the college was vandalised, “even as students and staff of the college threw stones and dangerous objects at the vehicle.
“A rescue team that came successfully released the seven operatives held hostage by the riotous crowd.
“It is noteworthy that operatives of the Commission exercised restraint in the face of the unprovoked attack and refrained from applying any force against the belligerent attackers.
“No student or staff of the college was shot, as armed operatives merely fired into the air to disperse the unruly crowd.
“The Commission wishes to assure the public that it will continue to perform its duties in line with its mandate, and unprovoked attacks against personnel of the Commission will no longer be tolerated,” EFCC said.