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‘It’s laughable’ — Arewa youths ask EFCC to close case against Yahaya Bello

Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state

The Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to close the case against Yahaya Bello, former governor of Kogi state.

BACKGROUND

The EFCC recently named the former Kogi governor in an amended charge filed against Alli Bello.

Alli, chief of staff to Usman Ododo, the incumbent governor of the state, and one Daudu Suleiman are the two defendants in the 17-count amended charge.

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The anti-graft agency alleged that the suspects diverted about N100 billion belonging to the state in September 2015 — about four months before Bello assumed office as governor of Kogi.

The AYF in a statement on Monday by Ahmed Zagi, its president, said those behind the charge against Bello are “villains disguising themselves as politicians”.

“The Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), has watched with keen interest the unfolding developments concerning tarnishing the image of former Kogi State Governor, His Excellency, Yahaya Bello, an action we consider as a desperate and selfish move by villains disguising themselves as politicians,” the statement reads.

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“The AYF, like other well-meaning Nigerians, woke up to the news that the EFCC has, in an amended charge, accused the former Governor of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015, 4-months before he assumed the position of a Governor.

“To any right-thinking person, and in any sane clime, this charge is laughable. Available reports and facts have it that H.E Yahaya Bello could not have as of September 2015 conspired with anyone, including the Government House Cashier, Abdulsalami Hudu, to convert any money belonging to the State Government.

“It should also be noted that GYB before becoming the Governor of Kogi State had in any way no financial dealings with the Kogi State Government which could have permitted him to convert monies belonging to the Kogi State Government; hence a scenario that will put anyone in doubt because it did not add up and makes no sense.

“The question begging for answers is, did the Kogi State Government come out in any way to declare its money missing?”

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The AYF asked the EFCC to close the case and apologise to the former Kogi governor.

“We at the Arewa Youth Forum are therefore calling on selfish political actors to desist from their campaign of calumny,” the group said.

“Heartwarming ranking of the State has adjudged it, both locally and internationally, as a State with sound Financial Transparency and accountability.

“The Arewa Youth Forum is therefore calling on the EFCC Chairman to tender unreserved apologies by way of an open letter duly signed, to His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the good and peace-loving people of Kogi State and Nigerians at large for making us a laughing stock in the comity of nations and close the case forthwith using all legal means.

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“On the part of the Federal Government, the AYF is calling on the President to step in to save the integrity of the Corruption umpire from selfish Politicians using the Commission for vendetta.

“The AYF is using this medium to state that in defiance to the above, we will mobilize the Youths to march the streets of FCT-Abuja in protest to expose the sponsors and the people behind it publicly.”

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