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Yahaya Bello: Kogi assembly cautions EFCC against becoming tool for vendetta

Yahaya Bello: Kogi assembly cautions EFCC against becoming tool for vendetta
April 23
23:15 2024

The Kogi house of assembly says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should respect the rule of law in the investigation of  Yahaya Bello, former governor of the state.

At the plenary on Tuesday, the lawmakers in the Kogi house of assembly deliberated on the ongoing issue between EFCC and Bello.

Jibril Abu, the lawmaker representing the Ajaokuta state constituency, moved a motion titled “A call to end all false, frivolous, fictitious, and far from the truth smear campaign against the former governor of Kogi state Alhaji Yahaya Bello”.

Abu accused the anti-graft agency of witch-hunting the former Kogi governor, adding that the EFCC is handling the case “without respect to due legal process”.

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“The commission started with claims that it discovered a nonexistent fund in an alleged fixed deposit account,” he said.

“By its statutory responsibility and while appreciating EFCC’s efforts in the fight against corruption, every right-thinking individual would hold a duty to support it in no small measure to succeed in its primary responsibilities.

“It is also possible, as touted all around, for those very wary of certain actions outside the legal process by the EFCC to caution against allowing the commission to become a tool for political vendettas.

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“Kogi State, by allocation standard, is not rich so much that N80.4 billion will be missing that the state will not be shaken to its foundation.

“This claim by the EFCC should be sanctioned and taken as laughable. Innocent Nigerians and Kogi state citizens that bought into the lies should by their volition, withdraw their support.”

On his part, Enema Paul, lawmaker representing Okura constituency, said the anti-graft agency has some questions to answer for declaring Bello wanted.

“Why is EFCC in a haste? Nigeria is not a banana republic. I was surprised to hear a senior lawyer to EFCC inviting the military in a civil case. Have the police and DSS failed? the lawmaker asked.

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“I think the EFCC should look at their lawyer. The man they declared wanted is also in the appeal court with them.

“Declaring him wanted, I think EFCC has a lot of questions to answer. We don’t want the military to rule this country, and somebody is dragging us back to the olden days.”

Also speaking, Aliyu Umar Yusuf, speaker of the assembly, urged the EFCC to abide by the country’s laws in its operations.

“This assembly supports the security agencies to do their constitutionally assigned jobs because we are law-abiding people who understand that it is only under the rule of law that democracy can thrive,” the speaker said.

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“But we will not, as I earlier said, pander to the dictates of those who do not mean well for the state and its development.”

In its resolution, the assembly asked the EFCC not to allow itself to become a tool of political vendetta against Bello.

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“The EFCC, IGP, immigration, NSA and other agencies conscripted into this melodrama be so informed and involved to act accordingly,” the assembly said.

“The commission should not allow itself to become a tool of political vendetta, blackmail, or intimidation against any individual through personal grudges, persecution, and campaign of calumny to tarnish the image of personalities from Kogi State, especially Alh Yahaya Bello, or any perceived political enemy of the characters hiding behind their executive powers to unleash allegations through media for public consumption and sympathy.”

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EFCC VERSUS BELLO

On April 17, EFCC operatives laid siege on Bello’s residence in Abuja to arrest him over alleged N80 billion fraud.

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While the EFCC operatives were at Bello’s residence, Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, came to visit his predecessor.

Shortly after Ododo departed from the residence, the EFCC operatives also left the house.

Bello was believed to have been rescued by Ododo from his residence located in the Wuse Zone 4 district of Abuja.

Subsequently, the anti-graft agency declared the former governor wanted.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has also placed Bello on a watchlist.

The EFCC alleged that Bello, alongside Alli Bello, chief of staff to Ododo; and one Daudu Suleiman, diverted about N80.2 billion belonging to the Kogi government.

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