Norah Okafor, a journalist based in Aba, Abia State, has narrated how 25 operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission allegedly broke into her apartment in the small hours of Thursday and assaulted her, her brothers, and other neighbours.
Okafor, whose Facebook profile showed that she works as a presenter at Modern Communications Limited in Aba, narrated the incident on social media on Thursday.
She said she was terrified as she initially thought the anti-graft agency’s operatives were armed robbers but was shocked that the invaders were government’s agents due to the Gestapo manner in which they allegedly broke into her apartment and that of others in her neighbourhood.
She wrote, “At exactly 1:36 am, I was alerted by my brother that there were armed robbers at my gate trying to make their way into the compound. Because it was an electric fence, I didn’t bother because I felt they couldn’t make their way in.
“Alas, I was wrong. 2 am on the dot, they made their way into the compound. They came prepared – over 25 of them with two Hilux buses, masked and dressed in all-black outfits. A huge one (operative) climbed the fence, and with a plier cut off a few of the wires, jumped into the compound and with an axe, broke the gate key open and zoom, they made their first entry into my apartment.
“As a nude sleeper, while they tried to make their way into the compound, I found something to wear while my brothers and I were thinking of a way of escape. The worst case scenario for me was that they would rape me or take the only valuable available – a car. So I prepared my mind.
“The next thing I realised was that about seven of them were already in my room with shouts of ‘lie down, face down, (turn) on the light, where’s your phone, where’s your car key, where’s this and that?’ Confused me! Seeing over 25 hefty men with different kinds of guns…I handed the phone to them with the key. Before then, they had already taken hold of my laptop.”
Okafor continued, “I turned to be sure these were armed robbers. They asked for my passwords to all the devices collected with masking tape to identify each. Still in shock, I heard someone destroying everything in the kitchen, my room, that of my brothers, and all the drawers. I was still asking myself what was happening.
“They asked me to stand and follow them downstairs. Lo and behold, they unmasked themselves. ‘Are these kind criminals?’ I asked myself. All my neighbours were already going through the same ordeal. They had already given my brothers a beating of their lives, carried my neighbour downstairs and tried unlocking all the cars in the compound.
“And after searching all the phones and laptops, three of their men walked in. Lo and behold, they were EFCC operatives. What? I screamed. ‘Shut up’ was the next thing I heard, and when they couldn’t open my phone, they asked me to. I did and after a while, I asked, ‘Please where is your office so I can come and pick my things on my way to work.’
“They asked me what I do and I said ‘journalist.’ They asked my neighbour he said ‘lawyer’; another said ‘doctor.’ They looked at me, handed over the phones and said, ‘We just wasted our time.’”
Obviously angered, Okafor wrote, “These people spent over one hour molesting and destroying things in the compound. I feel so pained and embarrassed right now.
“Is this how EFCC operates? How did we get here? Who is the informant? I am just confused right now. Thank God my mum isn’t here…”
EFCC spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, has not responded to enquiries by AF24NEWS.
Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency has been battling negative public image over incessant raids on private facilities and breaching into people’s privacy and dignity.
Last Thursday, armed operatives of the agency reportedly left several people injured after opening fire to disperse a youth conference and arrest guests during an overnight raid of a hotel in Enugu.
Also, last Monday, EFCC agents from Ibadan allegedly raided at least three hotels and two nightclubs in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital. At least one hotel guest was reportedly shot while a woman claimed she was violated by an officer who inserted his finger into her vagina.
The agency explained that it was clamping down on internet fraudsters and other white-collar crime syndicates across the country, saying their criminal exploits had been costing the country immense international goodwill.