June 18, 2024

N80.2bn fraud: Kogi Assembly defends Yahaya Bello, asks EFCC to obey court order

Following the allegations levelled against former Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello over alleged N80.2billion fraud, the State House of Assembly has called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, to obey the rule of law and work within the ambit of law.

This was part of the resolutions of the House during plenary on Tuesday.

The lawmakers also demanded that the tag ‘WANTED’ laced around the name and person of the former governor be immediately removed.

Other resolutions of the Assembly reads: “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 House condemns in its entirety a statement by legal practitioner suggesting a request that the military be involved in the case that does not | constitute threat to internal security or treasonable felony.”

Earlier in his 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’, the Lawmaker representing Ajaokuta State Constituency, Jibril Onoru-Oiza Abu, lamented that the anti graft agency has been witch-hunting the former governor.

He said, “The recent reports on the print, electronic media and social media handlers had featured various debasing forms of address against the former Governor of Kogi State.

“Recall that the whole narrative was principally sparked off by the blithe actions, without respect to due legal process, of the Nigeria’s anti- graft agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The consequence of this has deeply affected the minds, emotions, and impressions of Kogi citizens and by extension Nigerians. Kogi State over the years have witnessed a worrisome trend and torrent of witch-hunt by the anti-graft agency, unrepentantly striving to force corruption claims on the State Government, officials and now again an Ex Governor.

“This is not forgetting the plight of late Prince Abubakar Audu in the hands of the same agency, albeit, giving his dog a bad name for the kill.

“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 it 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 legal process by the EFCC to caution against allowing the Commission to become a tool for political vendettas.

“It is pertinent for House to further note that the new objectives assured by the leadership of EFCC upon assumption of duty and in his fight against crimes and corruption under President Ahmed Bola Tinubu are to fight financial crimes with due diligence and legal process.

“These objectives are being eroded by certain selfish group of political individuals with access to media and investigations in the Commission.”

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