Update: Submit Yourself To EFCC, AGF Tells Yahaya Bello 

Reacting to the recent incident between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the former governor of kogi state, Yahaya Bello, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has asked the former governor to surrender himself to the anti crime Commission.

In a statement he made available to newsmen on Thursday, price Fagbemi warned that the anti-graft agency should not be obstructed from performing its lawful duty.

“the bizarre drama confronting  EFCC in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty,” with respect to the charge it filed against the erstwhile governor, has come to his notice, describing it as “a matter of very grave concern.”

“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,” the AGF added.

Meanwhile, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja has adjourned the suit instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), against the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to April 23, 2024.

The adjournment is for substituted service and possible arraignment of Bello for alleged N84bn money laundering.

At the resumed sitting, Counsel for the EFCC, Kemi Phinro, told the court that the immediate past governor of Kogi State was absent from court for his arraignment because he was being protected by someone with immunity.

Phinro said the anti-graft agency might seek the help of the military to fish him out to come face his arraignment.

Responding to this submission, counsel to Yahaya Bello, Abdulwahab Muhammad, told the court that there is an order restraining the EFCC from arresting or arranging him,  pointing  out that the action of the EFCC was unconstitutional and the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain any charge from the EFCC.

Counsel for the EFCC, however, disagreed with the submission of the counsel to Bello.

The EFCC counsel held that the ruling in the substantive matter on the suit was delivered on March 17, 2024 by the Kogi State High Court.

He cleared the air that the court in its ruling held that for the former governor to be arrested or arraigned, the EFCC must first seek leave from the court to do so.

He said it was in line with that judgment that the EFCC, through an exparte application, filed for the order seeking the arrest of the former governor which was granted by the court.

Counsel for Yahaya Bello, however, insisted before the court that the order for the ex-governor’s arrest was made out of jurisdiction. He said the former governor is not a fugitive, but relying on the order of the Kogi State High Court to take protection.

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Rita Elenwo

Rita Aletor- Elenwo, is a professional journalist with experience in broadcast, print and online reporting. A proud citizen of Edo state, Nigeria (Esan South East Local Government) Rita had her first degree in philosophy from Ebonyi State University (2008), PGD, in Communication from the University of Port Harcourt (2020), and currently in pursuit of an MSC degree in communication. Rita (nee Aletor-) is happily married with lovely children.

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