Noble Igwe, a Nigerian blogger, ignited a commotion on social media Saturday, hours after calling on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intensify its crackdown on financial crimes culprits.
On Friday, the EFCC said its operatives raided a nightclub in Ikoyi, Lagos, and arrested about a dozen suspected Internet fraudsters, widely known locally as ‘Yahoo Boys.’
Ten vehicles were reportedly seized during the overnight raid at Club 57 along Awolowo Road, although many of the suspects fled to evade arrest, the EFCC said.
Mr Igwe welcomed the raid Friday night, but said the anti-graft office should do more to curb financial crimes in some business sectors he personally identified and marked as rife with criminality.
Record label, real estate, auto dealers, “are major 419/fraud fronts in Nigeria,” Mr Igwe said in a Twitter update at 11:20 p.m.
He urged the EFCC to “station” attendants at nightclubs in exquisite Lekki and Victoria Island neighbourhoods in Lagos.
Online and offline stores along the famous Admiralty Way in Lekki “are used for money laundering”, as well as similar stores off Fola Osibo Road, Mr Igwe said.
He also railed against “armed robbers” on Instagram for parading themselves as “G Boys’ when, in his opinion, they are actually into “a different type of stealing.”
Although the blogger did not mention names businesses or individuals in his advisory to the EFCC, many on the Internet still took serious exception to his action on Saturday afternoon.
One of the most visible insults directed at Mr Igwe came via a recorded video rant posted on the Internet Saturday by Abisoye Olukoya, identified by some online as a motivational speaker.
In the video, recorded in a verbal mishmash of English and Yoruba, Mr Olukoya excoriated Mr Igwe for taking up a duty that he was never assigned. The recording soon emerged on Twitter, sending ‘Noble Igwe’ trending at number one as at 6:00 p.m. Saturday.
Other users followed praised Mr Olukoya for his rant and also followed up with a flurry of harsh criticism of the blogger. While some also criticised the video for its alleged support for criminality.
Noble Igwe shouldn't be sniffing on people's pockets to know where their money came from. He should direct his rage at incompetent Nigerian Govt that don't provide jobs/enabling environment for Nigerians to thrive. He should boldly call out thieving politicians if he got BALLS!
— Tony Kanu (@TonyKKanu) May 12, 2018
You know your Country is finished when fully grown, bearded men make videos to defend criminals and money launderers.
But lets miss the point, Noble Igwe is the enemy.
— FAVOUR ONYEOZIRI (GCFR) (@Rouvafe) May 12, 2018
But some commentators, including musician Jaywon, expressed concerns for Mr Igwe himself than the debate worthiness of his tweet.
Noble Igwe get mind shaa.
— Omo Toh Gbolahan (@JAYWONJUWONLO) May 12, 2018
Mr Igwe expanded on his comments when reached by PREMIUM TIMES Saturday night.
“My tweets were simple: We leave in a society where we try to categorise fraud/stealing into big and small but, in the actual sense, all crimes are to be considered crimes,” he said.
“My tweet said that most people that are engaged in these activities use music, property and others as fronts and you only get to know them by how the spend money in the clubs.
“If EFCC wants to know people that are not legit, they should have people in clubs across Lekki to Victoria Island,” he added.
Mr Igwe also dismissed claims that his comments constituted ‘snitching’
“What’s my business with snitching? I don’t know who and why I should be the one doing their job,” he said of the anti-graft detectives.
The EFCC has not provided any updates since its raid of Club 57 yesterday, even though there have been mixed reactions about whether or not the agency should storm a nightclub to randomly arrest revelers.
A management official at Club 57 did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ requests for comments about the raid Saturday night.