End The Needless Harassment, Media Trial Against Yahaya Bello, CSOs Caution EFCC

End The Needless Harassment, Media Trial Against Yahaya Bello, CSOs Caution EFCC

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against what they call unwarranted and needless harassment, as well as media trial against the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, insisting that it is politically motivated.

The civil society organizations numbering about 73 accused the anti-graft agency of undermining Rule of Law and embarking on bizarre of abuse of human rights under the pretence of corruption fight.

End The Needless Harassment, Media Trial Against Yahaya Bello, CSOs Caution EFCC

At a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, convener of the coalition, Olabode Adeyemi said the alleged conspiracy against ex-governor Bello to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 belonging to the state government to personal use is fallacious, unfounded and a piece of concoction that has no bearing in the light of reality.

He wondered why the former governor was accused of siphoning the said sum in 2015, months before he became the governor of the state in January 2016.

While wondering why the former governor has not been invited for questioning, Adeyemi said EFCC by its mode of operation is becoming a reason for Nigerians to get worried, as it has repeatedly lack of professionalism in promoting the President Bola Tinubuโ€™s anti-corruption campaign.

He said, “Another visible and disturbing inconsistency was the EFCC in its amended charge accused the former Governor of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that Yahaya Bello never became the governor of Kogi State in 2015.

“The election that produced H.E Yahaya Bello, CON, as Governor of Kogi was only conducted in November 2015. Indeed, H.E. Captain Idris Wada of the PDP held sway as Governor of Kogi State at the material time until he handed over to H.E Yahaya Bello on the 27th day of January 2016.

“H.E Yahaya Bello could therefore not have as of September 2015 conspired with anyone, including Abdulsalami Hudu, a Kogi Government House Cashier to convert any money belonging to the Kogi State Government to his personal use. It is to be noted that H.E Yahaya Bello before becoming the Governor of Kogi State had no financial dealings with the Kogi State Government which could have permitted him to convert monies belonging to the Kogi State Government”.

Also speaking, on behalf of other 72 Civil Society Organizations, the Executive Secretary, Patriotic Nigerians, Dr Ben Oguche condemned the Commission for portraying ex-governor Bello of being at large in its amended charge, saying EFCC has demonstrated unseriousness by not getting its acts right.

He said the immediate past governor has no reason to be at large, accusing EFCC of dramatizing its anti-corruption fight

“In the same amended charge of EFCC that has been amended over and over again before the Federal High Court Abuja, the EFCC portrayed former governor Yahaya Bello as being โ€˜at largeโ€™.

“This is both ridiculous and laughable as no invitation has been extended to him and he refused to honour it, to describe a person of the calibre of Governor Yahaya Bello as being at large only describe how unserious and lacking in truth an Organisation like EFCC could descend to”, he stated.

He urged Nigerians to ignore the media trial against Bello, saying the EFCC is acting the script of powerful political actors who are in perpetual fear over the rising profile of the former governor.

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