Federal Government Orders Immediate Probe of Former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello


The Federal Government has directed former Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello to cooperate with investigations and present himself for questioning. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is pursuing allegations of corrupt practices during his tenure as governor.

Over the past 24 hours, there has been a back-and-forth between the parties involved, with attempts to evade arrest ahead of Thursday’s scheduled arraignment.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, emphasized the legal authority of EFCC to summon any Nigerian for interrogation. He criticized the incumbent Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Ododo, for leveraging his immunity to obstruct Bello’s arrest, labeling it as ‘disquieting’ and detrimental to Nigeria’s image internationally.

In a statement, Prince Fagbemi affirmed his commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of all Nigerians, stressing that avoiding accountability through self-help tactics is unacceptable.The bizarre drama confronting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty has come to my notice (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) as a matter of very grave concern.

“It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status. Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting. A flight
from the law does not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbates it.

“I state unequivocally that I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC and indeed any other agency to order when there is indication of any transgression of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies but I also tenaciously hold the view that institutions of State should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently. Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world.”

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