EFCC Offensive Against Yahaya Adoza Bello: Prosecution Or Persecution?

    The renewed offensive against the former governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has continued to generate reactions.

    As soon as he handed over to his successor, Alhaji Usman Ododo, it was reported that he had gone into hiding to evade EFCC arrest.

    While this fake news was sponsored in some blogs, Bello was actually being welcomed to his Okenne country home by a mamoth crowd. How a man being welcomed home with police escorts and a tumultuous crowd said to have gone into hiding to evade arrest defied logic. What a contradiction!

    As if that was not enough, the anti-graft Commission filled an action against him of commiting a Financial crimes in Kogi state in 2015. What a terrible blunder by the EFCC.

    A simple Google search would have given those who prepared the charge against Bello that he was sworn-in on January 27, 2016 and was nowhere near the Lugard House in 2015 when he was accused of perpertrating such imaginary crime.

    Is EFCC acting a script to nail Bello at all costs? Why is the anti graft agency embarking on media trial? Why the fixation to nail Bello?

    The Northern Emancipation Network (NEN) has also condemned the EFCC for what it calls a witch hunt against the former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

    The group, in a statement issued by its chairman, Suleiman Abbah, expressed concern over the ongoing intimidation and harassment of the former governor.

    Abbah pointed out that the original charge against Yahaya Bello alleges his involvement in a conspiracy to convert funds belonging to the Kogi State Government.

    However, the NEN highlights that this offence is said to have occurred in September 2015, before Bello even assumed office as governor.

    The NEN group argues that accusing him of a crime that occurred before he held the position is illogical and baseless emphasising that Governor Bello had no financial dealings with the Kogi State Government prior to his appointment, raising doubts about the validity of these allegations.

    Similarly, the Yoruba Youth Council advised the EFCC to leave Bello alone in peace in view of what it described as his outstanding performance in office.

    In a statement by its national president, Comrade Eric Oluwole, the council said in view of the state government’s declarations, the anti-graft body should beam its searchlight elsewhere and leave Bello alone.

    The group further alleged a desperation to nail the ex-governor.

    Oluwole recalled the strings of outstanding achievements recorded by Bello, especially the newly established University in Okun Kingdom, the Yoruba-speaking part of Kogi State, the first of its type in the state.

    Also, Kingsley Fanwo, commisssioner for Information and Strategy, Kogi state has described the latest onslaught against Bello as the continuation of vilification under Abdulrasheed Bawa led EFCC which eventually hit the rock for lack of evidence.

    Fanwo argues that even when it was obvious that Kogi State N20 billion was not lodged in Sterling Bank as claimed by the Bawa led EFCC, he (Bawa) was grandstanding.

    Fanwo, however, called on President Bola Tinubu to rein in the new helmsman, Ola Olukoyede, so that EFCC fulfilled its statutory role of fighting crimes and not a willing tool to settle scores.

    By Victor Oriola