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Yahaya Bello: CSOs Warn Against Media Trial



Yahaya Bello media trial

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations has kicked against the increasing media trial of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, saying the development is “grossly unprofessional and uncalled for.”

The No Corruption Coalition, at a press conference on Thursday in Lagos, said it decided to add its voice to call for the respect of the rule of law, owing to the growing concern about the recent avoidable crisis between the EFCC and Yahaya Bello.   

The acitivists said the outburst of the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, which revealed that no formal letter of invitation was extended to ex-Gov Bello, had shown clearly that the operation the EFCC operatives went to carry out in his house was illegal and had “no other interpretation than oppression, persecution and political witchunt.”

The Convener of the Coalition, Comrade Akintunde Adedeji (a.k.a Boosecart), said members of the coalition were not questioning the constitutional mandate of the EFCC to investigate and prosecute corruption matters.

“But the attitude of the Chairman has given a lot of credence to the suspicions in some quarters that the Commission is doing the bidding of some powerful interests around the presidency to politically persecute former Governor Yahaya Bello,” he said besides the claim against the alleged media trial.

Adedeji said, “Part of the obnoxious media trials includes sending lawyers to TV stations to go and turn law upside down by claiming that the Commission can violate court orders at will. This won’t help them at all. Everyone is in court now, so the status quo must be maintained. That’s a decent way to go about.

“The withdrawal of the Appeal also shows that they knew a case was pending when they laid siege on his house in the desperate bid to detain him without respect for lawful court orders on his fundamental human rights as guaranteed under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.”

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