Exclusive: By Adenike Lucas and Danjuma Aliyu
The core staff of a leading anti-graft agency are outraged that they have been denied arms to protect themselves.
A few days ago, Austin Obiajulu Okwor, an operative in the Property Fraud Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Zonal office in Port Harcourt, was attacked by gunmen as he left the office.
“Luckily for him, he was able to shake off his assailants but not without sustaining some bullet wounds as they kept firing at him,” the statement by Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman for the commission, said.
The operative was rushed to a private hospital in Port Harcourt where he is receiving treatment.
According to Ishaq Salihu, Head of the Zonal office, the incident has already been reported to the Police in Port Harcourt.
Core staff who spoke to this website said that Ibrahim Mustafa Magu’s refusal to approve them rights to bear fire arms means their lives have become “subject of threats.”
DENISAURUS News understands that core staff have longed demanded for fire arms.
A staff said “these were part of the expose made by whistle blowers during Ibrahim Lamorde’s tenure which lead to the victimisation of staff members till date.
“The fear is that if EFCC core staff begin to bear arm, seconded policemen may become threatened, as the need for their return to the NPF, their mother organisation, would be eminent.
The staff, who refused to give his name for fear of reappraisals from Mr Magu, explained that: “during the reins of Farida Waziri, the only female ex-EFCC chair, fire arms were imported for their use. Unfortunately, her tenure was cut short, hence that goal was sent back to square one.”
Today, many EFCC core operatives have had their lives in danger, owing to the “unpatriotic intents” of Mr Magu to deprive staff members of service fire arms. This according to the provisions of the EFCC Act 2004, is recommended and backed by law for operatives to possess their service arms.
While some have escaped with their lives, others have not been so lucky. In 2010, precisely September 14, the head of the Commission’s Forensics Unit, Abdullahi Muazu was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Kaduna.
Six month earlier a team of prosecutors returning to Enugu after a court appearance in Owerri, Imo state were attacked by gunmen who opened fire on them.