POLITICS

EFCC Mulls Military Option To Arrest Yahaya Bello 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may likely engage the military to fish out former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.

EFCC’s lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro SAN, gave the hint on the possibility of using the military to arrest former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello whom it seeks to prosecute for alleged corruption.

The agency’s operatives had laid siege to the house of Bello on Tuesday in Abuja, to effect his arrest but were unable to do so because the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo prevented them from doing so.

Besides, the media office of the former governor had described the invasion as illegal since there was an order of the Lokoja High Court barring the EFCC from arresting, detaining or prosecuting the former governor. But the the EFCC had also obtained an order for Bello’s arrest granted it on Thursday, by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Reacting to Bello’s successful evasion of arrest, Pinheiro said: “What happened yesterday was that a person with immunity (Ododo) came to whisk him (Bello) away to abort his arrest.

“We know that he is being kept in his successor’s house. Immunity is not attached to a home but to a person.

“We can invite the military to invade the building where he is being kept to execute the order of this court. What is edifying for him is to come to court and not to continue to play games.

“We want to come next week so that we can produce him. We know what to do. He cannot stand in the way of the Constitution.

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“A former president of the United States was indicted, he is attending court. He did not play pranks by filing frivolous cases.

“If he believes he is innocent, he should come before the court and defend it here.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has warned that the EFCC operations be no obstructed. The AGF in a statement released on Friday, said, “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.

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“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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