Hotel owners in Enugu State under the auspices of Society of Tourism Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Enugu State chapter has condemned the invasion of Castle Majestic Hotel in Enugu and illegal arrest of guests by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The chairman of the Association, Comrade Chukwuemeka Amos Ogbu, who addressed journalists in Enugu at the weekend, over the invasion of the hotel, expressed shock that a responsible federal agency like EFCC would resort to jungle method in the discharge of her responsibilities.
“We are thoroughly embarrassed to receive so many calls concerning this dastardly act. EFCC trained us, hoteliers on how to guide against money laundering.
And I have it on good authority that this hotel has been complying with every requirement. “EFCC has committed an abominable act. Enugu is a peaceful state, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has made Enugu a peaceful state and other states are emulating it. If EFCC has any reason to suspect any foul play going on in the hotel, there are laid down procedures
“How can you storm a hotel with more than 10 gun welding officers and start beating everybody in sight, seize the master key and start opening every room and arresting people, including guests who are unclad, this is killing business of people,” he lamented.
Earlier, one of the managers , Adaeze Gold Okeke said the operatives operated as though they were on a mission to spoil the image of the hotel, lamenting that the hotel suffered a loss of more than N50 million as a result if the invasion. “Honestly, EFCC behaved like SARS (disbanded antirobbery squad) people; they invaded this place like robbers.
“They didn’t have proof of any target suspect or anything. They pointed gun at us , we were terrorized. “So many customers checked out, even those who made reservations were calling to cancel same”.
Chioma Akpolo, a senior manager said some guests at the hotel during the raid included government officials, Chinese nationals, youth groups and members of National Youth Council of Nigeria holding event at the hotel were affected.
She explained that the EFCC officials, who did not show them any warrant, took about 15 persons away from the hotel including some staff.
“We are shocked because before now we have good working relationship with EFCC and other security outfits. We have received training from EFCC and we suit daily reports to EFCC and DSS,” she said. The hotel managers said they would take necessary steps to seek redress for the damages.