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Yahaya Bello Moved Kogi’s $720,000 from kogi state’s account for child’s tuition – EFCC Chairman

Yahaya Bello used Kogi’s $720,000 for child’s tuition – EFCC
EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, alleged on Tuesday that investigations by the anti-graft agency uncovered a withdrawal of $720,000 from the state coffers by the embattled former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, purportedly to pay his child’s school fees.

Olukoyede revealed during a meeting with editors, Bureau Chiefs, and media executives at the EFCC Headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, that he had personally contacted Bello to address the allegations, but Bello declined the invitation.

Amidst a legal dispute between Bello and the EFCC, with Bello claiming that the agency’s attempt to arrest and prosecute him for an alleged N80.2 billion fraud violated a Federal High Court order, Olukoyede defended the EFCC’s actions, asserting that they were constitutional given the alleged fraudulent activities uncovered against Bello.

The EFCC chairman detailed how Bello purportedly withdrew funds from the state’s account and transferred them to a Bureau de Change to cover his child’s school fees in advance. Despite Olukoyede’s attempts to engage Bello in discussions to clarify the allegations, Bello allegedly refused to cooperate, citing concerns over media presence during the meeting.

Addressing the failed attempt to apprehend Bello at his Abuja residence and his subsequent absence from a scheduled court appearance, Olukoyede emphasized that the EFCC had acted within the confines of the law. He noted that anyone obstructing Bello’s arrest would face legal consequences.

Moreover, Olukoyede vowed to resign as EFCC chairman if Bello was not prosecuted, underscoring the agency’s commitment to ensuring accountability and transparency in governance.

In response to the legal standoff, the Federal High Court in Abuja adjourned the hearing until May 10 to rule on Bello’s request to lift the arrest warrant issued against him. Bello’s lawyer argued that the arrest warrant was obtained unlawfully, while the EFCC’s prosecuting counsel opposed the application, insisting that Bello had no right to seek relief from the court without appearing in person.

Meanwhile, protests erupted in Kogi State in support of Bello, with youths barricading the Lokoja-Abuja Road to denounce the EFCC’s actions. The protesters voiced their concerns over what they perceived as a violation of Bello’s rights and called for adherence to the rule of law.

However, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) distanced itself from the protests, stating that the demonstrators were not lawyers. The NBA emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law while respecting citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly and protest.

As the legal battle between Bello and the EFCC intensifies, the nation watches closely to see how the matter unfolds in court. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for accountability and governance in Nigeria.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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