The Hoteliers Association of Oyo State has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to caution its officers against unlawful invasion and subjection of hotel premises of members of the association to unwarranted distress.
The association in a petition by their solicitors, Ademola Salami Esq. of Intel Solicitors, addressed to the Ibadan Zonal office of the anti-graft agency and copied Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, alleged that men of the EFCC from the Ibadan zone have recently been invading the business premises of its members under the guise of looking for cybercriminals.
The association said on the night of Friday, the 20th of August, 2021 through the early morning of Saturday, the 21st of August, 2021, no fewer than eight business premises were invaded in Oyo town at night and in Ibadan in the early morning of 21st of August, without any legal instrument and earlier communication with the owners of the invaded hotels.
It further said in the course of what it termed unlawful invasions, innocent lodgers were subjected to harassment when their rooms were invaded with doors of the rooms forced open and customers’ luggage thoroughly searched while some customers were manhandled.
It said, “The incidents were harvests of intimidation and harrowing experiences for the owners of the hotels and their customers. The EFCC certainly does not have the mandate to disrupt the smooth running of business activities or the mandate to intimidate, harass and subject innocent lodgers to avoidable distress. We recognized the fact that criminals, both economic, cyber, and others, abound anywhere and their menace must be curtailed but certainly not in an illegal manner.”
The association, while expressing the willingness of its members to cooperate with the anti-graft agency in its bid to fight crimes, said it would welcome any suggestions or steps that can promote and support the realisation of the mandate of the EFCC inclusive of periodic meetings between the leaderships of the anti-graft agency and the association.
A member of the association, who spoke with Rulers’ World, said what they intend to achieve with their petition was to stop further incidents of unlawful violation of their businesses but not to hinder the activities of the agency from arresting and prosecuting criminals involved in cybercrime and other illegal activities.
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