Countering the False Representation of OAU Students Wrongfully Arrested by the EFCC
On Wednesday, November 1st, 2023, at about midnight, SOS calls with the hashtag #OAUTwitter started coming from the Twitter accounts of students at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State. The operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had raided a hostel and arrested 69 students of the university, saying they were suspected internet fraudsters.
The public outcry that has dogged the manner of the arrest has led to the release of the students arrested and the EFCC deleting their Twitter post about the wrongful arrest. The commission immediately banned sting operations at night and also reviewed its arrest and bail procedure. The commission said in the ban press release that “In line with the newly-reviewed procedures on arrest and bail of suspects by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Ola Olukoyede has directed that sting operations at night time be stopped in all the Commands of the EFCC.” These directives were issued as a reaction to the public outcry following the wrongful arrest of the students.
The commission has so far released about 58 out of the arrested students. According to Dele Oyewale, the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, other students will be released without delay after being profiled. Arrests like these happen all too often, with the commission parading these young individuals as suspected fraudsters, together with their laptops and mobile phones as part of items retrieved from them.
The release of about 85% of those arrested after public outcry makes us wonder why the students were paraded as suspected fraudsters; with their names plastered across the commission’s social media and website without due investigation. What does that say about the legitimacy of arrests like this? What would have happened if people didn’t speak up or there was no public outcry? Why would young people need to make their demands go viral before their voices are heard and the right thing is done? It is unjust and very unfair and it needs to stop. We hope the EFCC keep to their word and carry out their constitutional tasks with justice and fairness.
The agency, in a statement, listed the students as Dankuwo Eniola Erioluwa, Mustapha Monsuru Oluwanisola, Adeyeye Timilehin Ebenezer, Toromade Hammed Adedeji, Busari Abdulazeez Ayodeji, Adeleye Olumuyiwa Emmanuel, Oluwasakin Moyosore Favour, Olubini Pere Michael, Oluwadara Emmanuel Benny, Gbadamosi Okikola Omotola, Okusipe Tobiloba Paul, Nnekwelugo Enaemeka, Aghwaritoma Wisdom, Adesina Gbolahan Khalid and Michael Olugoke Oluwaseun.
Obafemi Joshua Mayowa, Eronmonsele Anthony Igberaese, Salau Oluwawumi, Jaiyeola Yinka Temitope, Ajayi Ayodeji Olanrenwaju, Oguntade Oluwabukunmi David, Abdulmumini Abdulsamad, Tolulope Oduola Folaranmi, Kayode Abdulraheem Ajuwon, Akinyemi Oluwagbenro Aduragbemi, Ayodeji Olumose Adedeji, Alawode Femi Segun, Junaid Hafiz Adeyinka, Akolade Oladele Sunday, Oyeniyi Banji Andrew, Oladusu Lanrinde Morakinyo, Ojo John Ifeoluwa, Akwuaka Tochukwu Blaise, Ogunleye Daniel Ayobami and Adebowale Omodesire Diekola were among those rounded off by the anti-graft agency.
The students also include Arekemase Olayinka Ridwan, Ajigbolamu Ayomide Ademola, Asegun David Damola, Adibe Elvis Ebubechukwu, Ohakanu Chidubem, Adeoye Mayowa Irejah, Adesokan Charles Adekunle, Olorunfemi Isaac Oladimeji, Odeyemi Femi Victor, Alimi Ajibola Akorede, Okeke Ifeanyi Francis, Fawehinmi Ayomide Simeon, Soniola Olumide Elijah, Yahaya Isah Salihu, Daramola Junia Olamide, Agbabikaka Mojuolaoluwa and Kingsley Ejike Nweake.
Others are Camara Abdullahi, Aminu Kehinde, Bayo Adegoke Iyanuoluwa, Alao Kolawale Oluwaseun, Oloruntoba Oluwatosin Adeniyi, Idowu Philip Oluwaseun, Maiye Daniel Olasile, Oyelami Peter Oluwaseyi, Emmanuel Nsochukwu, Komolafe Tosin, Praise Izuagie, Umehidi Obinna, Olujulo Lucas Ifeoluwa, Omejeh Stanley, Latilo Tolu, Oluwaseun Akinrelere and Great Onufomah.
We’re publishing this post to create a counter narrative – the actual narrative, to be honest – to debunk the false representation of these young individuals now on the internet. Some of the students who have been released have also taken to Twitter to share their stories and what they do outside being students:
I am just a student with several hobbies and skills all technology-related. I am a software engineer, with a diploma in Software engineering and also a technical writer with a blog where I publish content, I also have several work experiences where I have completed internships
— Adeyinka Hafiz Junaid (@zeuslgndd) November 3, 2023
EFCC, please clear my name. Do not destroy my future. I am a clean Nigerian young student with the vision and potentials to be a pride of my family, my country and my world.@channelstv @SaharaReporters @YinkaJunaid @tuyii @StockmanNigeria @oaustudents @tvcnewsng @ARISEtv
— Adeyinka Hafiz Junaid (@zeuslgndd) November 3, 2023
This is Larinde Oladosu, is a top software engineering talent, gave me my first official job as a DevOps engineer, he is not a fraudster#FreeOAUStudents https://t.co/dOXgOjB4ic pic.twitter.com/jmJAYmHXNE
— Badmus (@BadmusAnuoluwa5) November 1, 2023
Hello @officialEFCC ,
This is one of the innocent people you just paraded as “suspected fraudsters”.
I can’t believe this is still happening in 2023. We have been saying this is wrong for ages, but you won’t change.
I hope he and every innocent people you paraded sue you and… https://t.co/TvCWs4UfpQ
— Habdulakeem Bhadmus (@Mrbhadoosky) November 1, 2023
— Feyisayo❤️🏿 (@Feyisparkles) November 1, 2023
Sorinola Olumide, Okeke Ifeanyi, Akinrele Oluwaseun and Muyiwa are my class mates.
They are freelancers and crypto traders.
EFCC Biko? https://t.co/GyMW2n8YS5
— Adeyeni Temitayo (@Adextea99) November 1, 2023