• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Wanted by EFCC: Yahaya Bello or White Lion?

Yahaya Bello: A white lion or a big cat?

By Ikeddy Isiguzo

A white lion is a rare appearance. Only a few claim to have seen one. A white lion is sighted in accordance with the rare appearances.

The earliest recorded sighting of a white lion was in 1938, according to a 2018 online post. Only about 200 white lions remain globally, and only about 12 of these are to be found in their habitat of South Africa’s Timvabati region. There are no records of white lions in Nigeria.

Yahaya Adoza Bello, former Governor of Kogi State, who the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has declared wanted with a frenzy, calls himself White Lion. It could be important to know if EFCC is after Yahaya Bello or White Lion.

Read also: Yahaya Bello absent in court as EFCC mulls military option for his arrest

The clarification is important to cleanse parts of the disgraceful conduct of EFCC. Bello’s residences are well-known to EFCC. It would be a shame if EFCC does not know where to find Bello or arrest him.

Declaring him wanted is a waste of public attention and resources. Many people woke up on Thursday to see media platforms flooded with messages that there were obstructions to the arrest of Bello. EFCC officials know what they did or refused to do. They can keep the excuses to themselves.

A day earlier, EFCC laid a siege to Bello’s house in Wuse Zone 4 , Abuja. It inconvenienced many residents of Benghazi and surrounding streets.

What were EFCC doing there? Was it safe-guarding the house for Bello’s convenience?
Bello has a house on Benghazi. If EFCC did not have credible information of its target’s location, what were its operatives doing on Benghazi?

EFCC did nothing because it wanted to do nothing. What is special about Bello and his offence that he cannot be arrested and charged to court?

Was EFCC acting out a script? When a different EFCC was in-charge it invaded Rochas Okorocha’s residence and pulled him out. Rocha’s prayer session was reportedly disrupted. What has EFCC done with Rochas since then?

Read also: EFCC names Yahaya Bello in charges filed before he became governor

EFCC’s mission to Bello’s house was simple. Get to the house, make your presence known until Governor Usman Ododo’s convoy arrives to re-confer immunity on Bello with which to ferry him back to Lokoja where Bello has been reportedly holed up in Government House since he ceded office to Ododo last May.

Benghazi Street on Wednesday was designated a “crime scene”. Suspicious vehicles and any possible mobilisation that could aid Bello’s escape should have been shut down. Nothing of that nature happened.

A recreation of Wednesday’s scenario seems to establish that EFCC was waiting for Bello to work out his escape which should not be blamed on Governor Ododo. Before his arrival what had EFCC done?

If agents at the scene required re-enforcement did they ask? What stopped them? Who stopped them? The performance was beyond disgraceful.
We have witnessed EFCC officials smash doors, break windows, take out roofs in hot chase for students accused of cybercrimes. Sometimes they arrive at night, hit wrong addresses, damage buildings, invade people’s privacy, behaving worse than armed robbers. There are no apologies or compensations for the people some of whose health conditions these attacks worsened.

So, when Bello is declared wanted we should applaud EFCC for acting in line with its mandate? If some small time suspects were involved, EFCC would arrest and hurl them to court by the time you are half way through this piece. EFCC knows when to be efficient. Its high level of efficiency was on exhibition on Wednesday.

Then, the Inspector-General of Police Dr. Kayode Egbetokun weighs in with the more serious joke – policemen attached to Bello had been withdrawn. He may have forgotten that Ododo has enough policemen to spare. Those ones would be farmed out to the White Lion.

It is also possible that Dr. Egbetokun missed the part that Bello had enough louts with him. They dared anyone to come near their hero. EFCC alluded to that in the reasons for Bello’s escape.
In the midst of the brouhaha, does anyone still remember Honourable James Abiodun Faleke, a ranked Member of the Representatives, Ikeja Federal Constituency, Lagos, but from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State?

He was running mate to Prince Abubakar Audu in the 2015 governorship election which Audu won. Audu died while the results were being announced.

The forces that were, considered Faleke unworthy of being Governor. Old Kabba Division, Faleke’s origin, was a wrong side of the Kogi political map. It was also argued that a Faleke governorship would give Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a toe hold in Kogi State.

In a most bizarre decision, APC counted Audu’s votes for Bello who was second in the party’s primary. The Supreme Court ruled in Bello’s favour.

“I will not disappoint Prince Abubakar Audu. I, James Abiodun Faleke, will not be there for the swearing-in. Nobody consulted me before making me a deputy to Bello. Bello too did not consult me. I have made my position known to the party leadership on this,” said Faleke who kept his word.

The theory is that Faleke’s godfather is making Bello pay for displacing Faleke.

Is this why Bello is running from the law? How long will he run? How far can he run?
People should leave Faleke out of Bello’s troubles. Soon, they would say Faleke made Bello to conduct himself in a manner that resulted in the N80 billion alleged fraud.

Those who know him should whisper to Bello that no lion of any hue is afraid, cowed, fightened, and avoids roaring.

Bello should be able to roar his innocence. He cannot do that in hiding. He cannot continue admitting guilt by running from te law that is meant to protect him to the refuge of the Governor.

As it is too difficult to see the White Lion, can we see Bello, the owner of Kogi who ruled that there was no COVID-19 in Kogi State? One of the allegations against him is that he mis-managed the COVID-19 allocations to Kogi State.

Finally…

DR. Ogbonnaya Onu, former Minister of Science & Technology, a gentleman to ghe core is gone. Some still cannot understand why he trusted Muhammadu Buhari to the point of contemplating that Buhari would have helped him to be President of Nigeria. May the Almighty rest him.

A FEDERAL Government agency officials are raiding markets and shops in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kaduna to crash prices of goods? These raids cannot crash prices. Government knows but must be seen as doing something. Why did this federal project exclude the South East and North Central?

ELEMENTARY economics would explain that “Naira gaining value”, a suppose win over the Dollar cannot result in a reduction in cost of manufacturing where other areas are whipping out the gains. Assuming a company had money to buy cheap Dollars, its Band A electricity supply has worsened. It has to buy more diesel to generate power, pay more for security of its products, and pay for high cost of transportation. Consumers gain nothing from “Naira gain”. They have no money to buy the goods.

DID you read this? “Once you join the rising spending power of Africa’s largest population with the historic availability of trillions of Naira for consumer credit that will bolster the real sector, you will see why Nigerians will be most pleased that they elected a financial engineer and businessman as president by the end of his first term in office, even as the signs are increasingly more evident today,” Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity. Ngelale is under-going financial engineering. Congratulations to him.

Correction: I wrote last week that the boat accident which claimed Nollywood actor Junior Pope and others was on Anam River. My apologies. It was on River Niger.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues