A top investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has escaped death by the whiskers when gunmen opened fire on him in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Austin Okwor, an operative in the Property Fraud Section of the EFCC Zonal office in Port Harcourt, had closed late for the day on June 24, and as he left office, he was suddenly accosted by a gang of hoodlums who opened fire on him, a statement by the anti-graft agency said.
“Luckily for him, he was able to shake off his assailants but not without sustaining some bullet wounds as they kept firing at him,” the statement by Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman for the commission, said.
“He was rushed to a private hospital in Port Harcourt where he is receiving treatment. According to Ishaq Salihu, Head of the Zonal office, the incident has already been reported to the Police in Port Harcourt.”
Mr. Okwor is one of the operatives investigating some sensitive cases including that pertaining to corrupt judicial officials, Mr. Uwujaren said.
The commission said before the incident, the officer had been receiving threat messages.
One of such messages which he received sometime in May 2017 was reported to the Police, the commission said.
“This incident underlines the hazards which operatives of the Commission are daily exposed to in the discharge of their duties,” the statement said.
Mr. Uwujaren recalled that in September 14, 2010, the head of the Commission’s Forensic Unit, Abdullahi Muazu, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Kaduna.
Six months earlier, the commission said, a team of prosecutors returning to Enugu after a court appearance in Owerri, Imo State, was attacked by gunmen who opened fire on them.
Eze Edoga, the police escort, was cut down while a senior counsel with the Commission, Joseph Uzor, was critically wounded but survived.