• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Corruption trial: Yahaya Bello raises alarm, accuses EFCC of political witch-hunt

N80.2bn fraud: Court declines Bello’s prayer to vacate arrest warrant

The media office of Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi, has raised concerns regarding the continued trial of its principal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Despite previous allegations failing to result in national embarrassment, the EFCC persists in accusing the former governor of converting over N80 billion in Kogi State funds, before assuming office in September 2015, the media office claimed in a statement released on Thursday.

The media office alleged that some politicians, driven by their motives, have pressured the EFCC to file the same allegations in another Federal High Court in Abuja, without awaiting the outcome of two preceding cases in different courts.

In this latest case, the alleged theft is claimed to have occurred in February 2016, shortly after Bello took office, raising considerable doubts about the feasibility of such a large-scale theft in less than three weeks.

“For instance, in their latest case, directly filed against Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in the same Abuja on March 6, it was alleged that the former Governor misappropriated a whopping 80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty-nine Naira and Eighty-eight kobo) in February 2016.

“The team of ‘Almighty Strategists’ obviously had to change the initial September 2015 date to avoid the backlash the initial cooked-up charges brought on the Commission, but they again failed to cover the blind conspiracy of vendetta in the so-called allegations,” the statement reads.

The repetitive nature of the charges suggests a political witch-hunt rather than a genuine pursuit of justice, the media office said.

According to the statement, there are serious concerns about the EFCC’s abuse of court processes and prosecutorial powers, as well as the political connections of its legal team

Despite a restraining order against harassing the former governor, the EFCC persists in its actions, even going as far as violating court orders.

The Kogi state government has vehemently asserted the cleanliness of its financial records, denouncing the allegations as politically motivated and aimed at tarnishing the former governor’s reputation as stated in the statement.

The media office said Bello remains steadfast in his commitment to the well-being of the state and calls on the president to intervene in the interest of upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice is served impartially.

“Our Principal, H. E Yahaya Bello, remains committed to the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the continued well-being of a State that he has served diligently for eight years.

“We therefore call again on the President to call EFCC to order in the interest of the rule of law,” the statement said.