EFCC operatives kill junior colleague over custody of seized properties

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Two of employees of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Apata Odunayo and Ogbuji Tochukwu, who were reportedly involved in a fight that resulted in the death of a cadet named Abel Isah in the anti-graft commission’s Sokoto Zonal Command, have been arrested and charged to court.

At the Chief Magistrate Court in Gwiwa in Sokoto, the suspects are accused with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.

The anti-graft organisation also pointed out that the commission had suspended the suspects and turned them over to the police for additional investigation and potential legal action.

Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC’s spokesperson, made this announcement on Tuesday at a press conference held at the organization’s headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to reports, Isah was allegedly beaten to death by Odunayo and Tochukwu, who are his senior colleagues, over the deceased’s refusal to sign off on incomplete exhibits seized from a fraud suspect that was handed over to him.

An impeccable source said, “Isah was beaten to death by two of his senior colleagues at the EFCC zonal headquarters in Sokoto, for refusing to append his signature on incomplete exhibits seized from a fraud suspect.

“His refusal to sign off the exhibits because some items were missing, led to the two senior officers to pounce on him, brutalise him, and he was later taken to the hospital where he died.”

Reacting to the development at a press conference on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwajaren, said Isah died while receiving treatment for injuries incurred during a scuffle with his colleagues, Odunayo and Tochukwu.

Uwujaren said, “Gentlemen of the press, we have invited you this morning to brief you about an unfortunate incident that happened at our Sokoto Zonal Command, which is suspected to have led to the death of one of our young officers, an Inspector of the EFCC, Abel Isah.

“The officer passed away on May 7, 2023, at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, where he was receiving treatment for injuries he sustained, two days earlier, in a scuffle with two other staff – Assistant Superintendent of EFCC, Apata Odunayo, and Inspector of EFCC, Ogbuji Tochukwu.

“They had disagreed over procedures for the custody of items belonging to a suspect in detention, leading to a fight, a conduct which the commission frowns at.

“The two officers with whom he had a disagreement have been suspended by the commission and handed over to the Nigeria police for further investigation and possible prosecution.

“The latest information is that a two-count holding charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide has been filed against them at a Chief Magistrate Court, Gwiwa in Sokoto. Both offences are punishable under Sections 60 and 191 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law, 2019.”

Uwujaren added that without prejudice to the police investigation, they will, in addition, face further disciplinary measures in line with the commission’s staff regulation.

“The Executive Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, is saddened by the incident and has extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. He has, in addition, assured that the commission will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that those implicated in the death of the officer are brought to justice.

“He equally warned staff of the commission to ensure that their conduct at all times is moderated by the established code of behaviour as no act of indiscipline would be tolerated.

“Meanwhile, the remains of the late officer were interred on Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Jos, Plateau state,” he added.