Home Nigeria CSOs Fault EFCC for Disobeying Court Order on Gov Yahaya Bello

CSOs Fault EFCC for Disobeying Court Order on Gov Yahaya Bello

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By Uche Amunike

Aside from questioning the approaches to some issues of law enforcement against former Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State which they have considered anti-democratic, some Civil Society Organizations have also condemned the unjust application of state power by the federal government used against the embattled former governor.

This happened after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) issued a notice, declaring Bello wanted for offenses ‘in connection with an alleged case of money laundering tithe tune of N80.2bn.’

Yahaya Bello was placed on the watch list of the Nigerian Immigration Service, even as every police officer attached to him has equally been withdrawn by the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

However, over 120 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) alongside their members and supporters, hit the streets of Lagos on Saturday, as they faulted the actions of the federal government and the ongoing face off between the anti-graft agency and the former governor.

They had a press conference led by the Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran; Sina Loremikan (Campaign Against Impunity), Declan Ihekhaire (Activists for Good Governance), Gbenga Soloki (CADOV), Ochiaga Ohaneze (Ohaneze Youth Council) and Funmi Jolade (Women Democratic Vanguard). Also present were Kola Abe (Centre for Socioeconomic Rights), Ologun Ayodeji (Transparency and Accountability Group), Femi Lawson (Centre for Public Accountability), and Gbenga Ganzallo (Media Rights Campaign), among others.

During his speech, Adeniran stated that the EFCC did not send a letter of invitation to the former governor ,which meant that the allegation that he evaded an arrest does not exist.

Hear him: ‘Someone who was never invited, who has a valid court order restraining his arrest and harassment, among other reliefs, until the determination of the court case, could not be said to be evading arrest. It is deliberate misinformation to turn the public against the governor.’

‘If the FG continues in its iniquitous way of trampling on the rule of law by undermining our judicial system, we will mobilise a much larger number of Nigerians to join this pro-democracy struggle. It concerns all Nigerians because we don’t know who the next victim may be.’

He also advised the federal government to obey all the court orders given before their actions in court and then go ahead to vacate them through due process of the law.

He further stated: ‘There is no point in endangering anyone’s life unnecessarily because that’s the situation we believe that Yahaya Bello is in now. If the government doesn’t handle this matter carefully, it may shoot itself in the foot and put all Nigerians in collective injury.’

‘We have been on the side of the EFCC in many cases without gratification or prompting. But in this case, we insist that the EFCC is disregarding the rule of law and creating room for anarchy. And this must not be allowed to stand’, Adeniran added.

Another lead activist, Gbenga Soloki stated: ‘If the FG insists on inviting the military to intervene in a civil case involving a citizen, they should return power to the military so that we know that we are back to ground zero.’

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