Alleged N80.4bn Fraud: Kogi assembly urges EFCC to obey court order

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The Kogi House of Assembly on Tuesday urged the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to obey court order in respect alleged N80. 4 billion fraud case against former governor Yahaya Bello.

The house equally called on the commission to with immediate effect remove
the Tag ’WANTED’ placed around the name and person of Bello, the former Governor of the state.

The house made the call during plenary ain Lokoja.

The commission on April 18, declared the former governor wanted when it could not succeed at arresting him in spite of a court injunction restraining it from arresting, detaining and prosecuting him.

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“We expect the EFCC) to obey the rule of law and work within the ambit of law creating the commission.

“The EFCC, IGP, NIS, National Security Adviser and other agencies conscripted into this melodrama should endeavour to act accordingly.

“The commission should not allow itself to become a tool for political vendetta, blackmail, or intimidation against any individual through personal grudges, persecution, and campaign of calumny to tarnish
the image of personalities from Kogi.

“This honourable house condemn in its entirety a statement credited to a legal practitioner suggesting a request that the military be involved in the case that does not | constitute threat to internal security or treasonable felony, ,”

The resolutions of the lawmakers followed an earlier motion raised by Jibril Onoru-Oiza, (APC-Ajaokuta).

Onoru-Oiza said: “the recent reports in the print, electronic and social media handlers had featured various debasing forms of address against Bello.

“The consequence of this has deeply affected the minds, emotions, and impressions of Kogi citizens and by extension Nigerians.

” Kogi, over the years, has 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 a dog a bad name in order to kill it.

“The commission started with claims that it discovered a nonexistent fund in an alleged Fixed Deposit Account in a bank.

“It appears the EFCC’s objectives are being eroded by certain selfish group of political individuals with access to media and investigations in the commission.

“This was why the 7th Legislative Assembly of Kogi State in August and September 2021 berated EFCC upon the completion of its investigation over allegation of N20 billion Bailout diversion against Ex-Gov Yahaya Bello through a fixed deposit account at Sterling Bank, Lokoja.

“It’s unfortunate and saddening that EFCC has continued the trajectory of persecuting the former Governor against all known legal decencies and now likened, by most, to personal vendetta. But the question is why? ” he queried.

According to him, Kogi, by allocation standard, is not rich so much so that N80.4bn will be missing.

He added: “this claim by the EFCC should be sanctioned and taken as laughable.”

Also, former Deputy Speaker of the house, Enema Paul and member representing Kabba-Bunu State Constituency  Oluwaseyi Bello, in their submissions, berated EFCC for allegedly disobeying a subsisting court order in the state.

The Speaker of the house  Aliyu Yusuf, admonished the anti craft agency not to act contrary to the law of the Country.

Yusuf said: .”This house is not against the EFCC doing their jobs but they should do it within the ambit of the law and not in a gestapo way.

“The country belongs to all of us, so we must respect the law and work with it. The EFCC engaging in media trial and working in a gestapo way is unacceptable.

“If Yahaya Bello has a case to answer, it should be done within the rule of law.” (NAN)

By Thompson Yamput

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