Arewa Group Cautions EFCC to Thread Softly Over Yahaya Bello

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Worried by the current situation of unconfirmed allegations of corruption against the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called on the anti graft agency, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to thread with caution.

In a statement signed by Alhaji Yerima Shettima, President General of AYCF, and made available to newsmen on Wednesday, the forum averred that the fact that the case is already in court awaiting determination, the anti graft agency should not take the laws into their hands, making all efforts to tarnish the image of the ex governor despite not being convicted of any offence.

“We are worried on whose authority or interest the anti graft agency is carrying out their actions despite the disclosure by the Kogi State government that no money is missing.

“The invasion of the former Governor’s Abuja residence by the operatives was contrary to a subsisting court order granted February 9, 2024 by the Kogi State High Court of Justice, Lokoja Division, in Suit No. HCL/68M/2024 between Alhaji Yahaya Bello Vs. EFCC, restraining the Commission either by itself or its agents from harassing, arresting, detaining or prosecuting him, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive fundamental rights enforcement action.

“Despite a subsisting Order of injunction granted on 9th February 2024 by the High Court of Justice, Lokoja Division in Suit No. HCL/68M/2024 between Alhaji Yahaya Bello v. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, restraining the Commission either by itself or its agents from harassing, arresting, detaining or prosecuting Alhaji Yahaya Bello, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive fundamental rights enforcement action.

“The EFCC was duly served with that Order on 12th February 2024 and on 26th February 2024; the EFCC filed an Appeal (Appeal No.: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello) against the said Order to the Court of Appeal Abuja division. The Appeal was accompanied by a Motion for Stay of Execution of the Order of the High Court which the Court of Appeal adjourned for hearing till the 22nd day of April 2024.

“It is unfair that contrary to all of the above, the EFCC decided to lay siege to the home of them former Governor seeking to arrest him in contravention of the extant orders!

“We perceive the desperation of the anti-graft agency to embarrass and harass the former Governor by all means through spurious allegations, especially the latest one dating back to September 2015, way before he assumed office.

“We are aware that there are clandestine moves to correct the error, but with even more questionable allegations, which would embarrass the Commission and Nigeria more than the initial one.

“It is unfortunate that an agency that is supposed to enforce the law is now the first culprit with respect to disobedience of court orders. This is a big dent on the fight against corruption. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands,” the statement read.

AYCF called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call the EFCC to order in the interest of legal sanity, “because we are not in banana Republic where anything goes.”

The forum also called on the EFCC to ensure that fundamental right of the ex Governor is respected to the later.


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