Yahaya Bello Urges President-Elect Tinubu to Curb EFCC's Alleged Excesses

Former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello urges Tinubu to rein in EFCC's alleged excesses, citing a court order against his arrest. The case highlights tensions between EFCC and politicians, raising concerns about judiciary's independence.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Yahaya Bello Urges President-Elect Tinubu to Curb EFCC's Alleged Excesses

Yahaya Bello Urges President-Elect Tinubu to Curb EFCC's Alleged Excesses

Former Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has called on President-elect Bola Tinubu to rein in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and curb its alleged excesses. The Middle-Belt Vanguard for Good Governance, in an open letter to Tinubu, condemned the EFCC's recent raid on Bello's residence without a warrant, calling it reminiscent of military dictatorship and damaging to Nigeria's international reputation.

The group accused the EFCC of disregarding a High Court injunction restraining them from harassing or threatening to arrest Bello and his associates. They urged Tinubu to ensure that the EFCC operates within the confines of the law and respects the rule of law, emphasizing the importance of preserving Nigeria's democratic values and preventing any regression into authoritarianism or abuse of power.

Bello, who is facing allegations of N80.2 billion fraud by the EFCC, has been embroiled in a legal battle with the anti-graft agency. The EFCC obtained an arrest warrant from an Abuja High Court, but Bello evaded arrest due to a conflicting court order from a High Court in Lokoja that protected him from arrest. His supporters surrounded his Abuja home to protect him, and his hand-picked successor, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, later came and spirited him away.

Why this matters: The case highlights the ongoing tensions between the EFCC and high-profile politicians in Nigeria, as well as concerns about the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the fight against corruption and the rule of law in the country.

The Kogi State House of Assembly has also weighed in on the matter, ordering the EFCC to remove the 'wanted' tag on Bello's name and picture. The lawmakers accused the EFCC of making false and frivolous claims against the former governor, including the allegation of a N20 billion bailout fund diversion, which was later withdrawn. They urged the EFCC to avoid using the agency as a tool for political vendetta, blackmail, or intimidation against individuals from Kogi State.

"The EFCC must be allowed to do its job without hindrance," said a statement from the Middle-Belt Vanguard for Good Governance. "We call on President-elect Tinubu to intervene and ensure that the EFCC operates within the confines of the law and respects the rule of law."

Key Takeaways

  • Former Kogi governor Yahaya Bello calls on Tinubu to rein in EFCC's alleged excesses.
  • EFCC raided Bello's home without warrant, despite court order restraining harassment.
  • Bello faces N80.2 billion fraud allegations, evaded arrest due to conflicting court orders.
  • Kogi Assembly orders EFCC to remove 'wanted' tag, accuses agency of political vendetta.
  • Case highlights tensions between EFCC and politicians, concerns about judiciary's independence.