The Kogi State Government has attacked Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its N80 million fraud allegation against former governor Yahaya Bello.
The allegations were described as attempts by ‘criminals masquerading as politicians’ to rubbish the image of the immediate past governor.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, the state government tackled the EFCC on why its amended charge on Bello for diverting funds in September 2015 came four months before he became governor.
“The fact that the EFCC, in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN V. 1. Ali Bello 2. Dauda Suleiman, currently pending before Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division further amended the ‘Amended Charge’ to include in the count, the name of Yahaya Bello, describing him as being “at large”, is ridiculous, laughable and portrays the EFCC as an agency infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of Mr. President to defeat corruption in Nigeria.” The statement read.
“Being ‘at large’ of course means that a person is evading arrest or is on the run and cannot be found after an attempt to arrest. For the sake of clarity, the original charge is against Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman, Ali’s associate.
”The offence which Yahaya Bello is alleged to have committed upon which he has been named in the count is conspiracy to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 which offence is said to have occurred on or about September 2015 in Abuja.
”His co-conspirators according to the count are Abdulsalami Hudu (Kogi State Government House cashier) described as being ‘at large’ too, Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman.
“In the EFCC’s desperation to nail Yahaya Bello, they forgot their thinking hammer at home. The Count of the offence is most laughable as the election that produced Yahaya Bello, as Governor of Kogi was only conducted in November 2015.”