Tinubu Govt Ask Yahaya Bello To Submit Himself To EFCC

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has publicly called on the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to cooperate with ongoing investigations and submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a probe into alleged corrupt practices during his tenure.

This appeal comes amidst heightened drama surrounding efforts to arrest Bello for arraignment, scheduled for Thursday.

Recent attempts by the EFCC to detain the former governor have been thwarted, leading to widespread public and media attention.

The AGF, in a statement he personally signed, expressed concern over the actions of the current Kogi Governor, Ahmed Ododo, who reportedly used his immunity to block Bello’s arrest on Wednesday.

Fagbemi labelled such interventions as “disquieting” and counterproductive to the principles of justice and transparency.

“The action of using one’s position to prevent the lawful arrest of an individual is not only disquieting but also a form of escapism that casts Nigeria in a negative light internationally,” Fagbemi stated.

He emphasized that the EFCC has the legal authority to invite any Nigerian for questioning and affirmed his commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of all citizens.

The AGF said in the terse statement, “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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