Fifty-eight of the 69 students of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, in Ile-Ife arrested on Wednesday for suspected internet fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have been released.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the students were arrested during a midnight raid on hostels at Oduduwa Estate area of Ile-Ife, which were outside the university’s campus.
The anti-graft body had said the arrests were based on “actionable intelligence.”
The South-West Coordinator of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, John Alao, confirmed the number of the students released on Thursday.
NAN reports that the EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, had also confirmed the release of the students in a statement, but he did not give the exact number of students released.
According to Mr Oyewale, many of the suspects have been released, with the profiling of unreleased suspects ongoing.
“Already, many of the suspects duly profiled by the command have been released, while profiling of suspects yet unreleased will be completed, without further delay.
“The commission wishes to assure the public that it will not relent in its adherence to the rule of law in the exercise of its mandate,” he said.
Mr Oyewale further said the EFCC has decided to stop night-time sting operations in compliance with newly-reviewed procedures for arrest and bail.
This was as directed by Ola Olukoyede, the executive chairman of the commission.
However, NAN reports that the students’ release was not unconnected to the pressure mounted by the OAU Student Union leaders and other students demanding their colleagues’ immediate release.
The students had embarked on a journey from Ile-Ife to Ibadan hours after the arrest and invaded the EFCC office in Ibadan.
The EFCC operatives had invaded the Fine Touch and Superb Hostels in Oduduwa Estate in the early hours of Wednesday, breaking into rooms and arresting the students.
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