Home Editorial EDITORIAL:  EFCC vs Yahaya Bello; test of Nigeria’s jurisprudence

EDITORIAL:  EFCC vs Yahaya Bello; test of Nigeria’s jurisprudence

by Roving

The case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissioner, EFCC, against the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello and the desperate manner in which the anti graft agency wants to prosecute the former governor has raised some dust from various groups and eminent Nigerians.

Those concerned have raised serious suspicions over what they described as unprofessional and illegal approach being applied by the EFCC to ensure the former Kogi governor is punished.

For Instance, last month, the EFCC Boss, Olanipekun Olukoyede alleged that Yahaya Bello, withdrew cash from the Kogi State Government Account, sent same to Bureau De Change Operators and then used same to pay the school fees of his children in advance.

According to Olukoyede, the payment was made just about the time the former Governor was to leave office.

Though the former governor , through his spokesman had rubbished the allegations leveled against him by the EFCC Boss, a legal activist and constitutional lawyer, Wilfred Molokun, recently raised the alarm against the EFCC, asking the agency to refrain from incessant media trials of Yahaya Bello as EFCC in an attempt to arrest and arraign Bello has engaged in a media trial.

He said it is absurd for an agency charged with responsibility for the enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws to throw overboard the rule of law in its desperation to “persecute, prosecute and humiliate a former governor”.

Similarly, some concerned APC chieftains, have described the so called fight against Bello as vendetta and not fight against corruption.

Chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress have said that an unbiased assessment of the alleged media trial of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission goings showcases grounds for strong suspicion of vendetta.

The Head of the Tinubu Media Support Group, Jesutega Onokpasa, who spoke on behalf of Concerned Chieftains said, “Indeed, an unbiased assessment of the goings on in this matter profusely showcase grounds for strong suspicion that while the public is being misled into the erroneous impression that the EFCC is trying to fight corruption, it is actually just a pretense in furtherance of a personal vendetta on behalf of, and, at the behest of persons in government intent on the bastardisation of our institutions of state.

Yahaya Bello had on several occasions debunked the various allegations by the EFCC and it is on this note we want the anti corruption commission to toe the path of law rather than cheap media blackmail.

The EFCC Boss should be reminded that once parties have submitted a dispute to the Court, they are to shun all actions and statements that may prejudice the hearing of the matter or the mind of the Court.

EFCC Boss should not ridicule agency since the matter is sub judice. EFCC should prove his allegations against Bello in the court which is the only venue where the proof of these allegations matter and will be addressed.

Fight against corruption is a serious issue that must be treated legally if the agency is actually serious about its mandate given to it by the law.

Nigerians can not be fooled. They could understand when a case is politically motivated. Due process and not media blackmail must be followed so that justice can be seen to have been served.

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