The management of the Federal College of Forestry in Ibadan has ordered the immediate shutdown of the school.

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The closure followed after the clash between staff and students of the institution and some operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

There was pandemonium in the college on Tuesday after some officials of the anti-graft agency were allegedly detained by students.

“Seven operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on routine verification exercise of a surety: Azeez Kazeem Oluwakemi were, on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, attacked and held hostage by staff and students of the Federal College of Forestry, Idi-shin Estate, Ibadan, Oyo State,” a statement from the agency reads in part.

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The statement signed by Dele Oyewale, the EFFC spokesperson, said the operatives were at the college to “authenticate the address and identity of Oluwakemi, who stood as a surety for Alakinde Khalid Kolawole, a suspected internet fraudster in the custody of the commission”.

“For some inscrutable reasons, students and staff of the college went on a frenzy of attacks against operatives of the EFCC, who were on an authorised assignment,” it added.

“This is in spite of the fact that the college community was duly informed about the mission of the EFCC’s team. The college’s Student Union President, in concert with his colleagues and some staff of the institution, reportedly ignited violent confrontation with operatives of the EFCC.

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“Two main entrance gates to the college were barricaded with a car believed to be owned by one of the lecturers of the college. The bus that conveyed operatives to the college was vandalised, even as students and staff of the college threw stones and dangerous objects at the vehicle.”

Oyewale said it took a rescue team of seven operatives to free the EFCC personnel allegedly held hostage by the crowd.

“The commission wishes to assure the public that it will continue to perform its duties in line with its mandate and that unprovoked attacks against personnel of the commission will no longer be tolerated,” he added.

Following the clash, the management of the institution ordered the immediate suspension of academic activities.

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The decision was communicated to the heads of departments, dean of student affairs, chief security officer, student union government (SUG) president, members of staff, and students via a circular dated October 25.

Circular from the Federal College of Forestry, Jericho, in Ibadan

In the circular, Abebi Agun, the registrar of the college, asked all students who are residents of the College to vacate their halls of residence immediately.

“Sequel to the breach of public peace and disruption of academic activities occasioned by the invasion of the College by officials of EFCC and the consequential reactions and protest by students, I have the directive to inform all members of staff and students that the College Management has directed that all academics activities be suspended and the College closed down with immediate effect till further notice,” the circular reads.

“In view of this, all students who are residents in the College are hereby directed to vacate their halls of residence immediately and without any delay.”
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