N80 Billion Fraud: ‘Political Masters Shielding Yahaya Bello, Disgracing Nigeria’ – EFCC

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Yahaya Bello

The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused some ministers and colleagues of the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, of shielding him from prosecution.

Recall that Bello has been in a legal battle with the EFCC over alleged N80.2bn fraud.

Following a failed attempt to arrest him and his repeated absence from court for his arraignment, the EFCC declared Bello wanted, while the Nigerian Immigration also placed him on watchlist.

Effa Okim, EFCC’s acting Zonal Director, Benin Zonal Command, during a familiarisation visit on Wednesday to the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Asaba, said Bello had ridiculed the Nigerian justice system by failing to present himself for trial in court.

Speaking on why the EFCC hasn’t arrested Bello months after he was declared wanted, Okim claimed that the he was being shielded by some political masters and associates.

His words: “This is the last question I expected because the shame is on all of us. Is that a question I should answer alone? It’s not me, it is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“That politically-exposed Yahaya Bello, whose crime has been traced to him by the allegation and has been invited by EFCC to come and explain, and for months he is acting drama and we are all here wanting to ask questions! The shame is our own shame!

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“Can’t we catch him? We can, but do we go all out to catch him? Do we need to do that when he has his masters? Can’t they call him and tell him, ‘You are disgracing Nigeria’ What are you telling the world? Tell him to go and explain himself like others have done.

“Where are the ministers? Where are Yahaya Bello’s colleagues, even in his hiding? So, Nigerians can’t tell him ‘This is not fair, go and report; they are not going to kill you’? But people are still eating and dining with him.

“Where has morality gone before legality that we can’t summon that man and tell him to go and report himself to the EFCC? Some persons are writing, supporting him, while some are criticizing the commission.

“The problem is our own problem that borders on Nigeria’s image. Our children are watching their parents behave like children.

“To me, the truth has vanished. Even in Animal Farm, this will not happen, that a man who was part of the system that was a custodian of our culture, rules and laws can behave like this and you are asking questions.

“The media should come out for the first time to harmonise, criticise that action and forget about prosecution but tell him to make himself available; thereafter we know what to do.”