The Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wed sealed the multi-billion naira Enugu Mall occupied by SPAR, a multinational retail outlet.
Mr Chris Oluka, the head of Public Affairs of EFCC, confirmed the incident, saying that the managers of the building flouted the directive of EFCC on the development of the building.
Oluka stated that the officers from Abuja raided the mall and dispersed employees who were recently recruited preparatory to official opening of business on Friday.
It would be recalled that the commission had earlier in the year sealed the mall, situated beside the Enugu State House of Assembly, by writing the inscription ‘Under EFCC Investigation’.
However, construction work continued at the location.
Mr Johnson Babalola, the Zonal Head of Operations in EFCC South East, had during an earlier interaction with newsmen, said it was not against any known law for the owners to go ahead with construction work.
Babalola said that since the property wasn’t nevertheless under permanent forfeiture to the govt, “construction work will still continue while investigations continue”.
On the new development, Oluka, however, stated that allowing the business to operate within the building may jeopardise investigations.
“I don’t have much to say regarding this as a result of the officers that dispersed the employees this morning came from Abuja,” Oluka said.
On the invitation of the manager of the mall to the zonal office of the commission once the employees were dispersed, Oluka said it mustn’t be misconstrued as an arrest.
“They were invited to come and explain why they did what we told them to not do,” Oluka said.
Some employees at the mall, however, expressed displeasure over the incident, describing it as anti-labour.
Some of the freshly recruited employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were upset as a result of EFCC officers swooped on the mall just 2 days to the official opening.
One of the employees said: “we are shocked this could happen at a time the govt is preaching job creation.
“Over 250 people were employed by this company and we aren’t sure what is going to happen next.
“We are appealing to the authorities concerned to look into it urgently and save us from continued hardship.”
Efforts to reach the managers failed as they were all at the EFCC office for interrogation as at the time of this report.