Yahaya Bello to EFCC: You lied! I didn’t receive any invitation

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Former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has vehemently denied receiving any invitation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and accused the agency of lying, intimidation, and disobedience to court orders.

 

In a statement released by his media office, Bello challenged the EFCC to produce evidence of the alleged invitation, which he claims never existed.

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He also highlighted a timeline of events, including a preemptive charge filed by the EFCC before any invitation, and a court order restraining the EFCC from inviting, arresting, or prosecuting him, which was violated by the agency.

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Contrary to Mr. Uwujaren’s claims, official records and court documents relating to their hounding of Alhaji Yahaya Bello establish a clear timeline of events. These documents are endorsed with dates and times of filing and payments, which are endorsed on court processes – all of which testify to the true sequence of events.

According to the response from Yahaya Bello’s media office, “Formal Invitation: The EFCC claims to have invited Alhaji Yahaya Bello immediately after his tenure ended on January 27th, 2024. We challenge the EFCC to produce a copy of this invitation, including the delivery date and the recipient’s name/endorsement. We are confident they cannot provide this simple evidence.

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“Preemptive Charge: Prior to any alleged invitation, the EFCC amended Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/22 on February 5th, 2023, to accuse Yahaya Bello of conspiring to convert over 80 Billion Naira of Kogi State funds in September 2015. This amendment listed Yahaya Bello as “still at large,” demonstrating a clear intention to arrest him.

“Impossible Accusations: The alleged timelines provided by the EFCC for its phantasmagorical allegations of crime against Yahaya Bello predates his Inauguration as Governor of Kogi State on January 27th, 2016.

“The second charge even attempts to correct the initial blunder and says the crime was committed in February 2016, less than a month after he became Governor! The total Kogi State budget in 2016 was significantly less than the sum alleged in the charges.

READ ALSO: I Want To Appear In Court But I’m Afraid — Yahaya Bello

 

“Seeking Protection Under The Law: To protect his reputation and fundamental rights, Alhaji Yahaya Bello filed Fundamental Rights Enforcement action Suit No. HCL/68M/2024 with the High Court of Justice, Kogi State on February 8th, 2024. Court records, even from the EFCC, all substantiate this.

“Court-Ordered Restraint: The High Court granted an order restraining the EFCC from inviting, arresting, or prosecuting Alhaji Yahaya Bello pending the determination of the Originating Motion. This order was served on the EFCC on February 12th, 2024.

“EFCC’s Disregard for the Law: Despite the order, the EFCC, represented by Senior Advocates Rotimi Oyedepo and J.S Okutepa, filed Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 against Yahaya Bello on March 6th, 2024, in violation of the order.

“The EFCC’s ‘Ex Parte Warrant’ Is Another False Narrative: Mr. Uwujaren falsely implies that the EFCC sought a warrant of arrest only after the Kogi State High Court ruling on April 17th, 2024. This ruling was at about 2pm. Records will show that the motion was filed at 8:24 am on April 17th, prior to the ruling. And Nigerians would testify to the fact that, at that time, EFCC agents had already laid siege on his residence, attempting his arrest. These are clear occurrences that cannot be denied.

EFCC – A Litany of Violations: The EFCC failed to present the warrant at Yahaya Bello’s residence. The warrant itself is invalid, being obtained in defiance of a court order and based on misleading statements, as Alhaji Yahaya Bello is a defendant and not a fleeing suspect or a suspect, having been charged.”

 

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