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West Africa

Heads may roll in EFCC over Benue shawarma dealer’s arrest

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to investigate the arrest of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Star Shawarma, Ms Mnena Ato, by its operatives in Makurdi, Benue State.

Ato was arrested by the operatives of the commission alongside her accountant and one of her salespersons over a N1,600 transaction.

The anti-graft agency promised to punish any of its personnel found to have acted unprofessionally with regards to the arrest.

In a statement by the Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, the commission said it had commenced investigation into the circumstances of Ato and the others’ arrest and vowed that it would not leave any stone unturned in ensuring that all facts related to the incident were unearthed.

The anti-graft agency said it was not in its character to act arbitrarily as it was always guided by best global practices in its operations.

The statement read in part, “The commission wishes to assure members of the public of its commitment to global best practices and professional conduct of all its officers and men.

As the commission continues to pursue its mandate of ridding the nation of economic and financial crimes, appropriate sanctions will be applied to whoever is found to have acted out of character regarding the Benue arrest.”

Meanwhile, Ato said her employees reported at the commission’s office on Monday as instructed, but they were asked to go back.

“The manager and the accountant reported at the EFCC office today, but they were told to go, that the agency will communicate with us later,” she said.

Attempts to get more information from her were not successful as she politely declined making further comments, expressing fear that security operatives might be monitoring her.

Ato had earlier stated that an officer of the EFCC visited her shop to purchase an item worth N1,500.

She explained that the officer decided to pay for the item through bank transfer and instead of N1,500, she ended up transferring N1,600 to the company’s account, adding that the company did not get an alert for the transaction and when the salesman asked for payment again, the buyer felt insulted.

She had said, “This transaction took place on April 9, 2020, but when we finally got the statement of account from the bank, there was no shortfall in revenue and the person, who sold the item to the EFCC officer, got his full salary at the end of the month and I directed the salesperson to call the officer and apologise to her.

“Less than 20 minutes after my employee had carried out my instructions, operatives from the EFCC office came and occupied my company premises, insisting on picking me, the accountant and the salesman

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