The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has launched an investigation into the alleged assault of Ms Mnena Ato, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Star Shawarma, Makurdi, Benue State.
The EFCC said in a statement by its Spokesman, Dele Oyewale, that it is not the character of the commission to assault innocent citizens.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the EFCC has been drawn to reports of a recent arrest made by its officers at a pastry firm in Makurdi, Benue State, involving Ms Mnena Ato, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Star Shawarma.
“The commission has commenced investigations into the circumstances of her arrest and would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all facts related to the arrest are unearthed. It is not in the character of the EFCC to act arbitrarily and the Commission is always guided by global best practices in its operations.
“The commission wishes to assure members of the public of its commitment to best professional practices and excellent conduct of all its men and officers.”
The commission said appropriate sanctions would be placed on whoever is found to have acted out of character regarding the Benue arrest.
Ato had told newsmen that she and her workers were assaulted by EFCC officials following a disagreement over a N1, 600 transaction.
Narrating what led to the invasion of her office and their subsequent arrest, Ato said an officer of the EFCC had 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 but it allowed the buyer to leave because it believed in the customer’s explanation.
Ato stated, “So, when the accountant did not receive the alert for the payment of N1,500, he decided to draw the attention of the sales boy to it and directed him to contact the EFCC officer to inform her of the development.
“The rule of the company is that if any customer purchases an item from a salesperson and the salesperson fails to collect money and there is shortfall in revenue, such shall be deducted from the salary of the salesperson.
“It is on this that my worker continued calling the officer to remind her of the payment.
“This transaction took place on April 9, 2020, but when we finally got the statement 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.
“All my pleas fell on their deaf ears and at the end of the day, I was picked up alongside my accountant and the salesman. We slept in their detention facility and we were released on administrative bail on Saturday.”