The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released the seven serving military personnel linked with alleged internet-related fraud.
The suspects which include one Army personnel and six from the Nigerian Air Force were arrested by the Kaduna Zonal office of the anti-graft agency on Monday and were remanded in the custody of the commission for further investigation and possibly prosecution.
However, the matter took a new twist on Friday morning as armed soldiers from the Nigerian Air Force invaded the EFCC office at Number 4 Wurno Road in the Kaduna State capital to enforce the release of their colleagues from detention.
The soldiers who arrived at the EFCC office in five Hilux patrol vans at about 10 am, surrounded the main gate of the commission, thereby preventing the EFCC officials from going in or coming out of their offices.
The situation led to a showdown between the Air Force personnel and EFCC security operatives, who engaged themselves in a shouting match and threatened to pull the trigger against each other.
After nerves were calmed, the EFCC Zonal Head and the leader of the Air Force team, met briefly after which the suspects were released.
Reacting to the incident, the EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale told Channels Television in a phone call that the Commission released the suspects upon completion of an investigation and forensic profiling.
“The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation and flagrant abuse of power. The Commission continued to engage with the leadership of the Nigeria Air Force and released the officers to the NAF Provost after they had been duly profiled,” Oyewale said in another statement late Friday.
He explained that the release and handing over of the suspects to their agency was done in line with the commission’s operating procedure, adding that the suspects would still be arraigned in court at the appropriate time despite being released to their agency.