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Yahaya Bello Speaks, Makes Damning Claims After Brush With EFCC



EFCC threaten to use military on Yahaya Bello Service

Erstwhile governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has opened up on his faceoff with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleging a plot against him by opposition political actors working in collaboration with dissidents within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Speaking through his media office in a statement made available to he said:

The attention of the Media Office of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has again been drawn to another chapter in the series of the ongoing persecution of the former Governor by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Having failed woefully to achieve their motive of national embarrassment with the critical questions that greeted their earlier allegations that the former Governor converted over N80bn Kogi State funds to personal use in September 2015, even before he became Governor, masterminds of this unending persecution have hurriedly repackaged their script, this time dragging the name of the EFCC further in the mud.

In a miscalculated bid to satisfy their paymasters at all costs, some desperate politicians have pushed the EFCC to approach another Federal High Court in Abuja, with the same set of questionable allegations without waiting for the determination of the two preceeding cases they’ve filed in two different Courts simultaneously.

In this particular one, they tried to correct their initial blunder by saying the about N80 billion was now stolen in February 2016, arguably in less than three weeks after he assumed office for the first time as Governor of Kogi State on January 27, 2016!

Looking at the curious and endless scenarios of duplicated charges, cross-charges, counter and frivolous charges by the EFCC against former Governor Yahaya Bello, it has become crystal clear that the whole onslaught is nothing but a desperate political witch-hunt of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State. 

We want to draw the attention of the President to the fact that the abuse of  Court processes and prosecutorial powers by the EFCC is assuming a dangerous dimension that the Head of the Commission might not even have paid attention to. We still want to assume that he is being misled into political persecution rather than diligent prosecution by bad eggs within the system, working with criminals masquerading as politicians.

The desperation to nail a man that has done nothing but to raise the bar of governance in his State and provide visible dividends of democracy to all, irrespective of religious or ethnic leaning, has beclouded the rational thinking of masterminds and pushed them into a consistent pattern of raising extremely frivolous and indefensible allegations against their target.

For instance, in their latest case, directly filed against Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in the same Abuja on March 6, it was alleged that the former Governor misappropriated a whopping 80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty-nine Naira and Eighty-eight kobo) in February 2016.

The team of ‘Almighty Strategists’ obviously had to change the initial September 2015 date to avoid the backlash the initial cooked-up charges brought on the Commission, but they again failed to cover the blind conspiracy of vendetta in the so-called allegations.

How is it possible for a Governor who had not even been on seat for three weeks to steal over N80 billion from a state? The question here is: how much is the combined monthly Federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue for the entire 2016?

But the desperation by the frustrated political forces and ethnic chauvinists in the State and other unpatriotic elements outside the State, who are so determined to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it, couldn’t make them care about facts and figures in their contrived compendium of falsehoods and fake allegations.

Nigerians should also be aware that the political connection in all of these shenanigans and comedy of the absurd has been exposed by the composition of the legal team of the EFCC in their purported fresh case. Number two on the list of the EFCC lawyers is J.S. Okutepa, SAN. This EFCC lawyer is also the lead Counsel and kinsman to the candidate of the Social Democratic Party at the Tribunal.

The same Okutepa SAN is EFCC’s Lawyer in the civil suit filed against the EFCC by H. E Yahaya Bello and is aware of the interim order of the Court issued against his Client restraining it from arresting, inviting and prosecuting him pending the determination of the suit before the Court.

Yet, during the pendency of that order, which he appealed against, he joined others in causing to be filed, a Charge against Yahaya Bello, an action contemptuous of the Order of that Court.

It is a shame that we have given desperate politicians the power to stain the noble intentions of Mr. President as regards the fight against corruption. It is also sad that criminally minded opposition politicians are now working in cahoots with internal collaborators against the APC and, indeed the President, all in the name of an ill-fated political chess game. But they will be exposed, sooner than later.

Beyond these, the EFCC is aware of a restraining order on it by a Court of competent jurisdiction against any arrest, persecution, prosecution or any form of harassment against the former Governor, (Yahaya Bello) which has not been vacated, yet the agency persists in the same prohibited acts.

On Wednesday, April 17, Justice I.A. Jamil of High Court, in Lokoja, gave a substantive judgement enforcing the fundamental human rights of the applicant and restraining the EFCC from arresting, detaining or prosecuting him (Yahaya Bello) on the basis of the criminal charges pending before the said Federal High Court in respect of offences allegedly committed when he was not a Governor.

Recall that, in what many have described as a flagrant disobedience to the subsisting Court order, the Commision had maliciously listed his name in an amended charge at a Federal Court. As if that was not bad enough, it has proceeded again to file the same charge already before two other Judges of the Federal High Court before another Judge in the same Abuja.

This is nothing but a ludicrous duplication that clearly violates and abuses the due processes of the Courts. How else can one explain a situation where three Courts in the same Federal High Court, Abuja Division, are saddled with hearing the same charges simultaneously? It is simply a case of abuse of prosecutorial powers and persecution taken too far!

The Kogi state government had stated unequivocally on many occasions that all its financial records are clean and up-to-date and that there are no missing or stolen funds belonging to the State.

All that is happening currently is that the EFCC is unwittingly availing itself to evil political forces who have ulterior motives.

Our Principal, H. E Yahaya Bello, remains committed to the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the continued wellbeing of a State that he has served diligently for eight years.

We therefore call again on the President to call EFCC to order in the interest of the rule of law.



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