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Anti-corruption

FG to Yahaya Bello: Submit yourself to EFCC for probe

Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, says the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to follow the path of decency and submit himself for probe.

Yahaya-Bello, former governor of Kogi State
Yahaya-Bello, former governor of Kogi State

Abuja, Nigeria

Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, says the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to follow the path of decency and submit himself for probe.

Bello who served Kogi for two terms as governor is being wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged corrupt practices.

In the last 24 hours, former governor Bello has been invading his arrest by the anti-graft agency.

The AGF in a statement he signed on Thursday, said the EFCC is empowered by law to invite any Nigerian for interrogation.

He condemned the action of the incumbent governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Ododo, who used his immunity to prevent his predecessor’s arrest on Wednesday as ‘disquieting’, adding that embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put Nigeria in bad light before the rest of the world is not the way to go.

According to him, he stands for the rule of law and will ensure no right of any Nigerian is trampled upon.

“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,” the statement reads in part.

“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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