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I’ll resign if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted – EFCC chair

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has vowed to resign if embattled former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello is not…

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has vowed to resign if embattled former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

In an interactive session with selected editors on Tuesday at the EFCC headquarters located in Jabi, Abuja, the anti-graft agency chairman vowed that all those who obstructed the arrest of the former governor would be brought to justice.

On April 18, the EFCC declared Bello wanted over an alleged N80 billion financial crime.

Bello is yet to appear in court for scheduled arraignments since he was declared wanted.

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The anti-graft czar said he made a direct phone call to Bello out of respect, urging him to appear before the commission and address the charges against him.

The EFCC boss said unfortunately, the former governor declined the invitation.

Bello had denied that he was invited, daring the anti-graft agency to produce a copy of the invitation letter.

In a statement through his media office on Tuesday, Bello accused the commission of spreading lies.

The EFCC chairman said: “If I do not personally oversee the completion of the investigation regarding Yahaya Bello, I will tender my resignation as the chairman of the EFCC.

“I have arraigned two past governors who have been granted bail now – Willie Obiano and Abdulfatah Ahmed. We would have gone after Bello since January but we waited for the court order.

“If I can do Obiano, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Chief Olu Agunloye, my kinsman, why not Yahaya Bello?”

Olukoyede also said the former governor transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

“A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used. Being used by who at this stage of my life?,” the EFCC chairman said.

In the meantime, former Governor Bello, on Tuesday, prayed a Federal High Court Abuja to vacate the arrest warrant order issued to the EFCC against him on April 17.

Bello, through his lawyer Adeola Adedipe, SAN, made the application following an order by Justice Emeka Nwite, directing the EFCC to effect the service of the charge and proof of evidence on the ex-governor’s lead counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Nwite had earlier ordered the EFCC’s lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, to serve Mohammed, the leading counsel of Bello, with bundles of the charge and the proof of evidence.

However, shortly after the ruling, Adedipe argued that the arrest warrant order, having been made before the charge, ought to be set aside suo motu (on its own accord, without any request by the parties involved).

“The defendant wants to come to court but he is afraid that there is an order of arrest hanging on his head,” Adedipe said.

The court subsequently fixed May 10 for ruling on the application seeking setting aside the April 17 arrest warrant issued against him.

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after Pinheiro and Adedipe adopted their processes and presented their arguments in the motion.

 

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