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By Hammed Hammed, From Osun

The Monetary and Monetary Violations Commission (EFCC) has charged previous Kogi State Lead representative Yahaya Bello with debasement, a couple of days after he finished his residency in office and was deprived of his protected resistance safeguarding him from criminal indictment.

Mr. Bello gave over to his replacement, Usman Ododo, following eight years in office on January 27 January and, days after the fact, was charged by the EFCC.

The Counter Unite organization didn’t even try to record a new case in court. It changed existing charges in which his nephew and a partner were blamed for redirecting Kogi State assets, to add the previous lead representative as a co-litigant for a certain couple of extra counts.

The Kogi State Chief for Data, Kingsley Fanwo, in an explanation denouncing the charging of Mr. Bello, said the case stamped FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022 was at that point under the watchful eye of Judge James Omotosho of the Government High Court in Abuja.

The case, until the most recent change that got Mr. Bello as a co-litigant, had his nephew, Ali Bello, and his partner, Dauda Suleiman, as the respondents on record.

Mr Bello in the corrected case was blamed for changing the all-out amount of N80.2 billion (N80,246,470,089.88) from having a place with the Kogi State Government to individual use. A supposed co-backstabber, Abdulsalami Hud (Kogi State Government House Clerk) was portrayed as being at large. The other two are his co-litigants – Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman

Mr Fanwo, who served in the equitable finished Bello organization, said the count ludicrously expressed that the offense occurred around September 2015. All at once, Mr. Bello still couldn’t seem to accept the office.

He added the count showed that Mr. Bello was “at large”.

He said this “is crazy, funny, and depicts the EFCC as an organization plagued with people whose aims can’t help contradicting the honorable expectation of Mr. President to overcome defilement in Nigeria.”

“Being ‘at large’ obviously implies that an individual is sidestepping capture or is on the run and can’t be tracked down after an endeavor to capture,” the assertion expressed.

“In the EFCC’s distress to nail H.E. Yahaya Bello, they failed to remember their reasoning mallet at home.”

Peruse the Kogi Express Government’s proclamation in full beneath:

Kogi State Legislature of Nigeria

Official statement

EFCC’S POLITICAL Plan Uncovered As Commission Frantically Charges YahaYA Bello For Redirecting KoGI’s Finances A Long Time Before He Expected Office

Says Mavericks Legislators Scheming With Commission to Taint Country’s Hostile to Debasement Appearance

. ..Demands Kogi’s cash work for its Kin, not missing

The Kogi State Government has raised caution over what it portrayed as a frantic endeavor by “lawbreakers taking on the appearance of lawmakers” to mess up the picture of the quick past Legislative leader of Kogi State, HE Yahaya Bello, without regard for anyone else, through Monetary and Monetary Violations Commission.

The state government said, in its franticness, “which would leave Nigerians pondering who precisely fears Yahaya Bello”, the EFCC has, in a corrected charge, blamed the previous Lead Representative for redirecting Kogi State Government support in September 2015, four months before he took on the place of a Lead representative.

It said this was ridiculous as well as depicted the EFCC as an organization plagued with people whose aims can’t help contradict the respectable goal of Mr. President to overcome debasement in Nigeria.

An assertion endorsed by the Magistrate for Data in Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, said, “The way that the EFCC, in control No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN V. 1. Ali Bello 2. Dauda Suleiman is now forthcoming before Decent Equity J.K. Omotosho of the Government High Court, Abuja Division further altered the ‘Corrected Charge’ to remember for the count, the name of H.E. Yahaya Bello, depicting him as being “at large,” is absurd, ludicrous, and depicts the EFCC as an organization swarmed with people whose purposes can’t help contradicting the honorable expectation of Mr. President to overcome debasement in Nigeria.

“Being at large’ obviously implies that an individual is dodging capture or is on the run and can’t be tracked down after an endeavor to capture.

“For lucidity, the first charge is against Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman, Ali’s partner. The offense which H.E Yahaya Bello is claimed to have committed whereupon he has been named in the count is a scheme to change over the absolute amount of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, 200 and 46 Million, 400 and 70,000, 89 Naira, 88 Kobo) which offense is said to have happened approximately September 2015 in Abuja. His co-schemers as indicated by the Count are Abdulsalami Hudu (Kogi State Government House Clerk) portrayed as being ‘at large’ too, Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman.

“In the EFCC’s urgency to nail H.E Yahaya Bello, they failed to remember their reasoning sled at home.

“The count of the offense is most bizarre as the political race that created H.E. Yahaya Bello, CON, as Legislative Head of Kogi was just led in November 2015. Without a doubt, H.E. Chief Idris Wada of the PDP held influence as Legislative Leader of Kogi State at the material time until he gave over to H.E. Yahaya Bello on the 27th day of January 2016.

“H.E Yahaya Bello could thusly not have as of September 2015 contrived with anybody, including Abdulsalami Hudu, a Kogi Government House Clerk to change over any cash having a place with the Kogi State Government. It is to be noticed that H.E Yahaya Bello before turning into the Legislative leader of Kogi State had no monetary dealings with the Kogi State Government which might have allowed him to change over monies having a place with the Kogi State Government, thus, one’s disappointment at the claim.”

The state government cautioned political entertainers to avoid Kogi State undertakings and cease their mission of slander “as the state government has not said its cash is missing, and has been declared, both locally and universally, as the top in the space of straightforwardness and responsibility.”

The state government inquired: “For what reason should Nigerians trust the initiative of the organization that made such a crazy, bold, and faulty charge? The Director of the Commission ought to delicate open conciliatory sentiments to the Nigerian nation for making us a fool in the comity of countries.”

It approached the President to step in to save the respectability of the EFCC from those “driving the Commission into a battle that ought to be passed on to legislators.”

“The Kogi State Government under the authority of His Excellency Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo will keep on supporting the Recharged Trust Plan of the President. We will likewise keep on advancing fidelity, responsibility, and straightforwardness and open our books to offices and establishments naturally engaged to investigate them. We will keep on winning honors for straightforwardness and responsibility,” the state government added.

The excursion didn’t start today, as per Fanwo.

He said, “In 2021, the Monetary and Monetary Wrongdoings Commission in a frantic bid to humiliate the Public authority of Kogi State then under the administration of His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello emerged with a misleading case that it had uncovered over N20 billion Naira of the state’s rescue reserve in a Decent Store Record in Authentic Bank. Encouraged by its blamelessness, the Kogi State Government composed a letter to Real Bank for explanations.

It approached the President to step in to save the respectability of the EFCC from those “driving the Commission into a battle that ought to be passed on to lawmakers.”

“The Kogi State Government under the administration of His Excellency Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo will keep on supporting the Restored Trust Plan of Mr President. We will likewise keep on advancing integrity, responsibility, and straightforwardness and open our books to offices and organizations unavoidably enabled to investigate them. We will keep on winning honors for straightforwardness and responsibility,” the state government added.

The excursion didn’t start today, as indicated by Fanwo.

He said, “In 2021, the Monetary and Monetary Wrongdoings Commission in a frantic bid to humiliate the Public authority of Kogi State then under the administration of His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello emerged with a misleading case that it had uncovered over N20 billion Naira from the state’s rescue store in a Proper Store Record in Authentic Bank. Encouraged by its blamelessness, the Kogi State Government composed a letter to Real Bank for explanations.

It approached the President to step in to save the uprightness of the EFCC from those “driving the Commission into a battle that ought to be passed on to lawmakers.”

“The Kogi State Government under the administration of His Excellency Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo will keep on supporting the Restored Trust Plan of the President. We will likewise keep on advancing integrity, responsibility, and straightforwardness and open our books to organizations and establishments intrinsically enabled to investigate them. We will keep on winning honors for straightforwardness and responsibility,” the state government added.

The excursion didn’t start today, as per Fanwo.

He said, “In 2021, the Monetary and Monetary Wrongdoings Commission in a frantic bid to humiliate the Public authority of Kogi State then under the administration of His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello emerged with a bogus case that it had uncovered over N20 billion Naira of the state’s rescue reserve in a Decent Store Record in Authentic Bank. Encouraged by its honesty, the Kogi State Government composed a letter to Real Bank for explanations.

“The Bank came out clean that the State Government had no such account with it, rubbishing the blatant falsehood of the EFCC in a manner that was so embarrassing to the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“But rather than apologies to the Government of Kogi State and the general public, the EFCC chose to harass the officials of Sterling Bank, coercing them to do everything possible to achieve the aim of roping the Kogi State Government into their ignominy ring. It ended with a conspiratorial exchange between the EFCC and the CBN. Today, Nigerians are not confused about the personae of Bawa and Emefiele.

“The sack of Bawa and the startling revelations that followed threw Nigerians into jubilation. They hoped that EFCC would birth a new era of separating political vendetta from the actual fight against corruption. But recent happenings have shown that it isn’t a war against corruption anymore but a clear manifestation of a hired gun approach to hack down political opponents by certain elements within and outside the anti-graft agency.

“This betrays the determination of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to retool the agency and make it more vibrant in preventing and fighting corruption genuinely and objectively within the ambit of the rule of law.”

According to him, the current leadership of the EFCC has now continued to tow the path of the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa who woke up one day in August 2021, and decided in his mind that the Kogi State Government had Twenty Billion Naira in an account, secured ex-parte, an Order of the Federal High Court, Lagos empowering him to direct the Manager of Sterling Bank Plc to freeze Account No. 0073572696 with the name Kogi State Salary Bail Out Account pending the conclusion of investigation or possible prosecution.

“They went on even when Sterling Bank through a letter addressed to the Kogi State Government dated 1st September 2021 confirmed that ‘the Kogi State Government does not currently operate or maintain a Fixed Deposit Account with Sterling Bank’
‘There is no mandate letter from the Kogi State Government to open account number 0073572696 with Sterling’ and that ‘Sterling Bank account 0073572696’ is an internal (mirror) account operated by the Bank for purposes of managing the Kogi State salary bailout facility,” he said.

The state government added, “While the EFCC’s suit was withdrawn and the Order of Court vacated upon a challenge by the Kogi State Government, the EFCC continued to issue press statements on all its social media platforms, attaching the pictures of H.E Yahaya Bello to those statements and insisting that the factual basis of their claim was genuine. To cover up the falsehood and their shame, the EFCC under Bawa compelled Sterling Bank Plc and the CBN under its embattled Governor Emefiele, to write letters confirming the return of funds belonging to the Kogi State Government to the CBN, when no such funds existed.

“The EFCC has since refused to answer to the suit filed against it since 2021 by the Kogi State Government and its officials challenging the falsehood on the issue of bailout funds. The EFCC has continued to maintain frivolous appeals even when the Court of Appeal had confirmed that the trial Court had the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

“A similar modus operandi was employed by the EFCC concerning the former first lady of Kogi State, Rashida Bello. She was named in the counts of offense and described as being at large in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/573/2022: FRN V. (1) ALI BELLO (2) ABBA ADAUDU (3) YAKUBU SIYAKA ADABENEGE (4) IYADI SADAT and was alleged to have conspired to criminally misappropriate over Three Billion Naira, funds allegedly belonging to some Local Government Areas of Kogi State. It is noteworthy that she was never invited by the EFCC or arrested before branding her as being at large’.

“As usual, the EFCC employed rogue ‘news’ platforms who sensationalized the issue, claiming that the then First Lady has been charged to Court and was running from justice!”

The Kogi Government said the current leadership of the EFCC seemed to have picked up the gauntlet from where Bawa left it.

“They have started using their media cronies and other faceless blogs and rogue media handles to spread lies about H.E Yahaya Bello. The purpose of the current amendment of Charge No. 550/2022 is no doubt to allow their irresponsible bloggers to gleefully but erroneously claim that Yahaya Bello has been charged to Court for the conversion of over 80 Billion of Kogi money, an offense which was allegedly committed when he was not yet a Governor.

“The unprecedented extent to which the EFCC is ready to go to tarnish the image of the Kogi State Government and also the image of the immediate past Governor, His Excellency Alh Yahaya Bello, has left much to be desired.

“It is in our character to fight in defense of the integrity of the Government and over 5 million Kogites whose common patrimony the Government allocates on their behalf. We are prepared to use the instrumentality of law to defend the integrity of the State Government.

“We urge the people of Kogi State to remain calm and law-abiding in the face of relentless provocation by EFCC which is insisting that the money we used to build infrastructure in the state is missing. We will never lose a just battle.”

Signed: Kingsley Femi Fanwo
Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications

6th February, 2024

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By Hamsina

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