Norah Okafor, a Nigerian has narrated how some officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) broke her gate, doors and barged into her house at 2am in Abia.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, Okafor expressed shock over the development.
She accused the operatives of storming her house in a “commando-like manner.”
The Nigerian journalist in a Facebook post earlier said, “At exactly 1:36am, I was alerted by my brother that there are armed robbers at my gate trying to make their way into the compound. Because it was an electric fence, I didn’t bother enough because I felt they can’t make their way in. Alas, I was wrong. 2am 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 black upon black. A huge one climbed the fence, with a plier and immediately 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 is that they will rape or take the only valuable available (a car key) so I prepared my mind.
“The next thing I realised was that about 7 of them were already in my room with shouts of ‘lie down, face down, 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, ‘mhen, e don be, be that’. I handed the phone to them with the key, before then, they had already taken hold of my laptop. I turned to be sure these were armed robbers, and 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’s happening? They asked me to stand and follow them downstairs, lo and beyond, they unmasked themselves, hmmmm..are these kind criminals? I asked. All my neighbours were already going through the same pain as me.
“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, it was EFCC. 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 just asked, please, where is your office so I can come pick up my things on my way to work. They asked me what I do and I said ‘journalist’, (they) asked my neighbour he said ‘lawyer’, the other ‘doctor’. They looked at me, handed over the phones and said, ‘We just wasted our time’.
“These fools spent over one hour molesting and destroying things in this compound. I feel so pained and embarrassed right now. Is this how EFCC operate? How did we get here? Who is the informant? I am just confused right now. Thank God my mum isn’t here.”
When contacted by SaharaReporters, Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman for the commission, claimed he was not aware of the raid.
“You said Abia right, that should be under Port Harcourt Zone, let me call them,” he told SaharaReporters.
When asked about the recent commando-like manner EFCC operatives have been operating, he said, “You are forming an opinion already, that’s not a question, send your question as a text to me.”
The anti-graft agency has been under fire recently for raiding hotels and private apartments in commando-like manner.
SaharaReporters had last week reported how operatives of the commission conducted a series of raids on some hotels in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, allegedly in search of suspected internet fraudsters during which its operatives opened fire on some lodgers.
Eyewitnesses said the armed EFCC officials, who operated like armed robbers, stormed Abeokuta in the early hours of September 13 in Toyota Hilux buses and made their way to at least three hotels and two nightclubs.
A witness was quoted as saying, “My cousin was shot because he tried to escape from the hotel and we quickly drove him to a hospital where he was briefly treated before we moved him to Ilaro for full recovery. It was really bad because they operated like armed robbers and they were very fast with their activities.”
Another witness said electricity was disconnected before one of the hotels was raided and officers did not knock before pulling down doors, breaking into rooms and violating the privacy of both men and women.
A lady said, “They threw everybody into darkness before raiding our hotel. One of them with ‘afro’ (hair style) seized my iPhone and used the torch to check my private parts before dipping in one of his fingers.
“I couldn’t say anything because I knew that my fiancé is a suspect and I warned him but he didn’t listen to me and we are getting married soon.”
It was gathered that over 30 cars were seized at Mitros alone, which witnesses linked to an infamous internet fraud suspect who was celebrating his birthday at the facility.
Witnesses also said the EFCC agents wanted to enter Conference Hotel, Abeokuta, but realised that its proprietor, Gbenga Daniel, was in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and subsequently left after initially parking outside the hotel.
In August, Big Brother Naija Lockdown housemate, Dorathy Bachor, also accused armed operatives of the agency of breaking into her Lagos residence around 04:45am.
She said the EFCC officials identified her as a BBNaija star and left afterwards.
The serial entrepreneur said her aged mother almost suffered a “panic attack” as a result of the incident.
The ex-housemate also posted videos showing men in red uniforms in her compound.
In July, 2021, Biodun Stephen, a Nollywood filmmaker also narrated how EFCC officials broke into her hotel room in Lagos.
“That is how I slept in a hotel whilst filming last week. Next thing, I open my eyes at a little past 3 am. What did I see? Two men dressed in black weapons. I thought I was dreaming. Then I heard the door to my room close.
“I sprang up and without thinking shouted: ‘stay right there!!! Who are you!!! They replied: ‘We are EFCC’. My head sparked. Are you kidding me? You enter into my room unannounced?? EFCC: Madam, we knocked but no response. You decided to enter my room?? You should have kept knocking.
“I was sleeping like every normal person would. One just opened his mouth and said: “Where is the man of the room. I was confused at first. The who? He replied: ‘your partner.’
She said one of the officials apologised to her when they realised that she was not the one they were after.
“Anger welled up inside me…Is this one roving mad man? His partner realised his folly because he quickly apologised. ‘You are not the one we are looking for.’”
“I watched as they interviewed guests rudely and arrested a few. They knew the people they were after. I lost sleep afterwards. Then I heard, this is the new thing with EFCC.
“They burst into hotel rooms in the middle of the night. Not caring who you are, in what state you are. I mean, the hotel is a really decent one so I couldn’t understand how this could happen. They alleged that the EFCC barges their way in…A mess, I tell you,” she had posted.