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Plan to arrest me: EFCC flouting court order, Yahaya Bello raises alarm

A former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday, raised the alarm over the siege laid to his Abuja residence by dozens of operatives…

A former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday, raised the alarm over the siege laid to his Abuja residence by dozens of operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Daily Trust had reported how the stern-looking operatives of the anti-graft agency cordoned off the Benghazi Street in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, where the residence of the former governor is situated.
It was learnt that the operatives’ presence was not unconnected with the N84 billion fraud case against Yahaya which the anti-graft agency is currently prosecuting.
But reacting to the development via a statement from his media office and emailed to Daily Trust, Bello described the EFCC’s move to arrest him as illegal, adding that it was sad the anti-graft agency was flouting the court order.
The former governor argued that the anti-graft agency was duly served the court order in February, restraining them from arresting or prosecuting him pending the substantive suit filed on his fundamental rights.
According to him, Nigeria is not a lawless county as the “EFCC is portraying her”, while calling on the President, Bola Tinubu to prevail on the EFCC to stop his arrest in the interest of legal sanity.
He said, “About 9:30 am today, the 17th day of April 2024, persons who described themselves as officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrived the Wuse Zone 4 Residence of Alhaji Yahaya Bello to effect his arrest.
“This is despite a subsisting Order of injunction granted on 9th February 2024 by the High Court of Justice, Lokoja Division in Suit No. HCL/68M/2024 between Alhaji Yahaya Bello v. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, restraining the Commission either by itself or its agents from harassing, arresting, detaining or prosecuting Alhaji Yahaya Bello, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive fundamental rights enforcement action.
“The EFCC was duly served with that Order on 12th February 2024 and on 26th February 2024; the EFCC filed an Appeal (Appeal No.: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello) against the said Order to the Court of Appeal Abuja division.
“The Appeal was accompanied by a Motion for Stay of Execution of the Order of the High Court which the Court of Appeal adjourned for hearing till the 22nd day of April 2024.
“Furthermore, Judgment in the substantive case between Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the EFCC is to be delivered at 12 Noon today in Lokoja.
“Contrary to all of the above, the EFCC has now laid siege to the home of H.E Yahaya Bello seeking to arrest him in contravention of the extant orders!
“It is a surprise that an agency led by a lawyer could flagrantly disobey a subsisting court order by taking actions contrary to the reliefs granted.
“We are aware of the total commitment of the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the rule of law and can say categorically that the leadership of the EFCC might have offered the agency on a platter of gold to desperate politicians to convert to their score settling tool without minding the effect on its integrity and the image of Nigeria as regards the rule of law.
“A situation where law enforcers disregard the rule of law is a definite recipe for anarchy, which will adversely affect every aspect of the nation’s economy.
“Nigerians have perceived the desperation of the anti-graft agency to embarrass and harass the former Governor by all means through spurious allegations, especially the latest one dating back to September 2015, way before he assumed office.
“We are aware that there are clandestine moves to correct the error, but with even more questionable allegations, which would embarrass the Commission and Nigeria more than the initial one.
“It is unfortunate that an agency that is supposed to enforce the law is now the first culprit with respect to disobedience of court orders. This is a big dent on the fight against corruption. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
“We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call the EFCC to order in the interest of legal sanity.”

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