• Monday, May 20, 2024
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EFCC trial: Anti-corruption CSOs express concerns over Yahaya Bello’s safety


Anti-corruption civil society organisations have reiterated their call for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to uphold the rule of law and avoid politicising its anti-corruption mandate.

They expressed concerns over the handling of allegations against Yahaya Bello, the former Governor of Kogi State, suggesting potential risks to his safety if detained by the EFCC.

During a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the activists highlighted the importance of impartiality in the pursuit of justice and criticised the EFCC’s failure to comply with court orders.

They emphasised the need for due process and raised questions about the validity of charges filed against Bello in light of the court’s directives.

“If the EFCC had gone ahead to defend its appeal against the Kogi State High Court’s order without the premeditated drama of attempted arrest of a citizen who had a subsisting Court order against such action, we will not be here today,” they said.

Debo Adeniran, the chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), led the discussion, stressing the obligation to oppose injustice regardless of personal affiliations.

He underscored the principle of equality before the law and urged adherence to legal procedures in all cases.

The activists urged the EFCC to focus on the technical aspects of their cases and avoid unnecessary confrontations.

The activists called for a reevaluation of the EFCC’s handling of the case and emphasised the need for judicial remedies to address any errors committed.

They said, “In the current matter between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, our position remains that the due processes of law be followed to the letter and unconditionally.

“As you may have noticed recently, more prominent Nigerians, including legal luminaries and politically exposed persons, are coming out to speak truth to power on this matter of arrogant disobedience to lawful court orders.

“Let us reiterate the fact that the EFCC could still have achieved its objective of prosecuting Yahaya Bello simply by following the due processes of law and even might have achieved more but for its decision to act ultra vires. We need not go into the details of that again as it is already in the public domain in large volumes.”