• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Anti-corruption groups warn EFCC against political witch hunts in Bello’s case

EFCC nabs five for possessing illegally-mined minerals in Kwara

Over 300 anti-corruption activists have warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against using the agency for “political witch-hunts” after it filed charges against former Governor Yahaya Bello.

The groups, representing seven different organizations, called the charges “extremely embarrassing” and reminiscent of past misuse of the EFCC for political purposes.

“This latest amended charge against ex-Governor Bello shows a clear case of desperation for spurious claims,” said Fisayo Abayomi, Director of Publicity and Research at the Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth. “Any litigation on corruption founded on political conspiracy will always have no merits.”

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The EFCC claims Bello and his nephew converted over 80 billion Naira of state funds since 2015. The activists argue this period predates Bello’s governorship, questioning the charges’ validity.

“Except the Commission is able to prove the duo had been involved in financial transactions with Kogi State money before Yahaya Bello assumed office, then they have a lot of questions to answer Nigerians,” said Dr. Olusegun Adesanmi, Chairman of the Zero Graft Coalition.

The groups expressed concern about the EFCC’s leadership, stating it “seems to have decided to tow the line of the ignoble Bawa way of doing things the wrong way,” referring to former EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa who was removed from office due to corruption allegations.

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“We doubt very much that the Commission can meet up with the expected standards as envisaged by the current administration,” said Engr. Mohammed Zakari, National Coordinator of the Integrity Forum.

The activists threatened to expose “political actors behind the incessant EFCC political victimization” and urged the current leadership to “sit up and get rid of all politically motivated allegations.”

The EFCC has not yet responded to the accusations. The case against Yahaya Bello is ongoing.