Human Rights Activists Protest EFCC's Alleged Unjust Treatment of Former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

Hundreds of Nigerian activists protest EFCC's alleged abuse of power against ex-governor Yahaya Bello, warning of escalating tensions if the government continues to disregard the rule of law.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Human Rights Activists Protest EFCC's Alleged Unjust Treatment of Former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

Human Rights Activists Protest EFCC's Alleged Unjust Treatment of Former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

On April 21, 2024, hundreds of human rights activists in Lagos, Nigeria, protested against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's (EFCC) alleged unjust application of state power in the ongoing face-off with former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello. The activists, representing over 120 Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations, claimed that the EFCC never sent an invitation letter to Bello, and that the issue of him evading arrest did not exist since he had a valid court order restraining his arrest and harassment.

The protesters condemned the EFCC lawyer's threat of military action inside the courtroom, calling it a violation of the sanctity of the courtroom. "The EFCC lawyer's threat of military action inside the courtroom is a violation of the sanctity of the courtroom," said Debo Adeniran, Chairman of the Centre for Anti Corruption and Open Leadership, who led the protest.

The activists warned that the ongoing disregard for the rule of law was not just about Bello, and that they would mobilize more Nigerians to join the pro-democracy struggle if the government continued to trample on the rule of law. They called on the government to first obey all the court orders before taking any further action, to avoid endangering anyone's life unnecessarily.

Why this matters: The protest highlights concerns about the EFCC's perceived overreach and disregard for due process in its dealings with the former governor. The case has generated significant interest due to Bello's position as a former governor and the broader issues of corruption and abuse of power in the Nigerian political system.

The activists stated that the ongoing case was not solely about Bello, but a broader issue of the government's disregard for the rule of law, which could affect any Nigerian citizen. They emphasized that the situation could escalate and endanger Bello's life if not handled carefully. "The ongoing disregard for the rule of law is not only about Yahaya Bello. We will continue to fight for justice in this matter until it is seen," the activists declared.

Key Takeaways

  • Activists in Lagos protested EFCC's alleged unjust treatment of ex-governor Yahaya Bello.
  • Activists claimed EFCC never invited Bello and that a court order barred his arrest.
  • Activists condemned EFCC lawyer's threat of military action in the courtroom as a violation.
  • Activists warned the case was not just about Bello but a broader issue of rule of law.
  • Activists called on the government to obey court orders to avoid endangering Bello's life.