The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released one serving officer of the Nigerian Army and seven Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operatives allegedly linked with Internet-related fraud.
The suspects were arrested by the Kaduna State zonal office of the anti-graft agency on Monday and remanded in the custody of the commission for further investigation and possible prosecution.
However, the matter took a dramatic twist on Friday morning as armed NAF soldiers invaded the EFCC office located at Number 4, Wurno Road in the state capital, to enforce the release of their colleagues from detention.
The soldiers, who arrived at the EFCC office in five Hilux patrol vans around 10 am, surrounded the main gate of the commission, preventing the EFCC officials from entering or leaving the office.
The incident culminated in a showdown between the Air Force personnel and EFCC security operatives, who engaged in a shouting match and threatened to pull the trigger on each other.
The situation was later brought under control with the EFCC zonal head and the leader of the air force team meeting briefly, leading to the release of the suspects.
Reacting to the incident, the EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, told Channels Television on a phone call that the commission decided to release the suspects upon completing its investigation and forensic profiling.
Oyewale explained that the release and handover of the suspects to their agencies was not done in line with the commission’s standard operating procedure, adding that the suspects would still be arraigned in court at the appropriate time, despite being released to their agency.