June 12, 2024

The Claver Magazine

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Northern Youths Slam EFCC Over Campaign Of Calumny Against Yahaya Bello, Says “EFCC Becoming Tool To Humiliate Ex-Govs”

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 Some Youths in the Northern part of Nigeria, under the aegis of the Northern Youths Movement, (NYM) have described as dangerous, the seeming use of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) as instrument to humiliate, harass and ridicule former governors in the country.

 The youths said the campaign of calumny against the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, was becoming childish, accusing the anti-corruption agency of employing underhand tactics in pursuit of what appears as a personal fight against the former governor.

 They described the last Friday, protest at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja by some people who claimed to be Kogi Conscience Liberation Movement and the Kogi Concerned Citizens Forum, calling for accelerated investigations into an alleged N80 billion fraud against Bello, as “the height of EFCC’s desperation to ridicule the personality of Governor Yahaya Bello, just as the agency has done to other former governors.”

 In a release issued in Abuja on Monday, which was signed by its Chairman, Mallam Ishaya Jato, the NYM said it was time the EFCC begins to act within the ambit of the laws of Nigeria and stop acting like a political tool.

 The NYM said: “If Nigeria is truly operating a federal system, what should concern a federal government agency like the EFCC with the finances of the States? Isn’t the State House of Assembly the body vested with powers to legislate on State finances?

 “Meanwhile, the same EFCC has not said anything about Dr Betta Edu, two months after her suspension as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation over alleged corruption. Also, more than two months after it detained a former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, for questioning over allegations of corruption in the handling of N37.1 billion social intervention funds during her tenure, the EFCC has remained silent.

 “Is EFCC only about former governors?”

 The NYM said it was strange that the EFCC hurriedly included the name of Governor Yahaya Bello, in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN V. 1. Ali Bello 2. Dauda Suleiman, currently pending before Honorable Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja and went on to describe him as being at large.

The Northern Youths Movement asked; “How do you describe someone who just left office as governor of Kogi State and living in Nigeria as being at large?

“Most importantly, EFCC, in its amended charges claimed that the alleged N80 billion fraud was perpetrated on or about September 2015 in Abuja. Whereas, the election that produced Yahaya Bello,  as governor of Kogi was conducted in November 2015.

 “So did former Governor Yahaya Bello commit the fraud in advance?

 “So ridiculous and that was the way the EFCC has been placing serving governors with Constitutional immunity on travel ban.

 “Sadly, this is what you get when you have a government agency where people use their positions to pursue personal vendetta, particularly to assist people who were defeated in elections.”