Unless we retrace our downward spiraling steps as a people, especially those in positions of trust in our civil and public service, this country is fast turning into a big joke.
Nigerians woke up on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, to a rude shock of the news of a dare-devil attack on the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by gunmen.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the anti-graft commission, Wilson Uwujaren, on the incident said: “A major security breach was recorded at the headquarters of the EFCC in the early hours of Wednesday, August 16, 2017 as unknown gunmen attacked the office located at Wuse Zone 7, Abuja
“The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 05.00 hours and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles parked in the premises in the process. However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty.
“The hoodlums escaped in a getaway vehicle but not without leaving a message; a white envelope dropped by the fleeing attackers was found to contain a death threat addressed to Ishaku Sharu, a senior investigator with the Commission.
“Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud Section, is in charge of corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons and retired military brass hats.
“The attack on the Zone 7 office, which houses the Commission’s AMCON Desk, Procurement Fraud and Foreign Exchange Malpractices Sections, is coming few weeks after another investigator, Austin Okwor, was shot and injured by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”
Ordinarily, this incident would have been outrightly dismissed as one in a series of armed robbery or assassination attacks, but for obvious and serious questions arising thereof.
How come we have become so gullible a people? How could any group, not to talk of investigative journalists, ever believe that last week’s mafia-styled attack at the facility of the anti-graft agency has again reinforced the reality that the EFCC’s anti-corruption war is making progress, hence the desperation by corrupt elements to stop it through violent means?” Where has our analytical mind gone?
If you know the EFCC headquarters, you would outrightly suspect the entire story as given by officials of the commission. There is only one motorable entrance and exit to and from the compound and there is are snake-like speed breakers at the same entrance with heavily-armed mobile police presence. There is no way you can get into the compound attack and escape those mobile policemen except you overpower them or you are working with them.
A crime can never be resolved if its very foundation is distorted.
Embellishing facts after a crime would out rightly mislead investigators. Without doubt, criminal(s) who attacked EFCC with a pistol must have achieved surprise, as well as gained access, but it is still a suicide mission because both police and EFCC civilian operatives at the premises are better armed.
As said by a concerned security analyst, Innih Akpan, on his Facebook post, “If indeed, the EFCC was attacked by heavily armed bandits as claimed, we will need real crime scene facts if the perpetrators are to be tracked and arrested. If what we have read from the open source (media), including the pictures they offered is true, then EFCC has not told us what exactly happened.”
According to the analyst, “the attack on EFCC office as reported indicated that the attackers were heavily armed. Bullet marks on vehicles shin photographs appeared like 7.62 mm ammunition fired by a rifle, but a pistol fired from a close quarter can still leave the same mark.
“Ironically, the picture of empty shell left behind is that of 9mm ammunition. I am confused. To track the attackers must start with finding an answer to the above observation because, while the use of 7.62 mm ammunition can support the claim that the attackers were heavily armed, the presence of 9mm empty shell does not. Available evidence of 9mm empty shell fired from a pistol just cannot qualify to tag the attacker (s) as heavily armed. Something is not adding up.”
Selling the bait that the attack or rather shootings at the EFCC headquarters “were by beneficiaries of corruption who are deploying all their available arsenals to ridicule, sabotage and derail the anti-graft war,” was outrightly naive and not marketable.
Let’s even look at the emphasis on the EFCC press statement: The annex office is where high-profile suspects are investigated.
The gunmen stormed the facility at about 5am shooting. They were repelled by guards.
They dropped a death threat for a senior investigator, Ishaku Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud. Sharu is saddled with the ongoing probe of several politically exposed persons and retired military chiefs.
Curiously, almost all the major national dailies ran the EFCC’s statement on their cover page, a story they cannot vouch for except that the media officer of the EFCC sent it to them.
The whole narrative has some big question marks. Unless you are a Navy Seal, how can you contemplate attacking EFCC in their office? The investigating officer the assassins were allegedly looking for, is he in confinement at the headquarters?
The question is: could EFCC have stage-managed and “attacked” itself as a publicity and/or attention -grabbing stunt?
Are there semblance in theatrics to the raiding of the Ikoyi apartment? Is there any semblance to the raiding of a market in Lagos to recover huge cash dump or the discovery of abandoned money including foreign currency at the Kaduna airport? These are some of the curious angles. I am just thinking aloud. God bless Nigeria!