Don’t Become Tool For Vendetta — Kogi Assembly Cautions EFCC Over Yahaya Bello Saga

Yahaya Bello

The Kogi State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should respect the rule of law in the investigation of Yahaya Bello, former Governor of the State.

During plenary, the lawmakers deliberated on the ongoing issue between EFCC and Bello.

The EFCC is prosecuting Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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”.

He further accused the anti-graft agency of witch-hunting Bello, adding that the EFCC is handling the case “without respect to due legal process.”

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

“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.

“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,” he said.

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Enema Paul, lawmaker representing Okura constituency, on his part, 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?

“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.

“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,” Enema said.

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

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

“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,” the Assembly said.