Editorial: the centrifugal forces wants Yahaya Bello's head

It is expected of Governor Yahaya Bello who ended his tenure as the Kogi State Governor for 8years, to begin to take rest at home, but this norm may likely not pan out for the former Governor as some 'centrifugal forces' are bent stifling his breath. 

Yahaya Bello been touted as a performer due to some of his inimitable achievements had enjoyed the support of the masses but some political gladiators fanned heat while Bello held sway. 

For instance, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been troubling Bello over issues bordering on the state's vault. Seemingly innocent, Bello came out clean to clear the air, but it wasn't enough before the anti-graft agency. 

The Commissioner for Information, had in a statement overtly said “The state government said, in its desperation, "which would leave Nigerians wondering who exactly is afraid of Yahaya Bello", the EFCC has, in an amended charge, accused the former Governor of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015, four months before he assumed the position of a Governor.” 

"The fact that the EFCC, in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN V. 1. Ali Bello 2. Dauda Suleiman, currently pending before Honorable Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division further amended the 'Amended Charge' to include in the count, the name of H.E Yahaya Bello, describing him as being "at large", is ridiculous, laughable and portrays the EFCC as an agency infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of Mr. President to defeat corruption in Nigeria. 

"Being 'at large' of course means that a person is evading arrest or is on the run and cannot be found after an attempt to arrest. 

"For the sake of clarity, the original charge is against Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman, Ali’s associate. The offence which H.E Yahaya Bello is alleged to have committed upon which he has been named in the count is conspiracy to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo) which offence is said to have occurred on or about September 2015 in Abuja. His co-conspirators according to the Count are Abdulsalami Hudu (Kogi State Government House Cashier) described as being ‘at large’ too, Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman. 

"In the EFCC's desperation to nail H.E Yahaya Bello, they forgot their thinking hammer at home. 

"The Count of the offence is most laughable as the election that produced H.E Yahaya Bello, CON, as Governor of Kogi was only conducted in November 2015. Indeed, H.E. Captain Idris Wada of the PDP held sway as Governor of Kogi State at the material time until he handed over to H.E Yahaya Bello on the 27th day of January 2016.

"H.E Yahaya Bello could therefore not have as of September 2015 conspired with anyone, including Abdulsalami Hudu, a Kogi Government House Cashier to convert any money belonging to the Kogi State Government. It is to be noted that H.E Yahaya Bello before becoming the Governor of Kogi State had no financial dealings with the Kogi State Government which could have permitted him to convert monies belonging to the Kogi State Government, hence,  one’s dismay at the allegation."

The statement continued: "In 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a desperate bid to embarrass the Government of Kogi State then under the leadership of His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello, came out with a false claim that it had uncovered over N20 billion Naira of the state's bail out fund in a Fixed Deposit Account in Sterling Bank. Emboldened by its innocence, the Kogi State Government wrote a letter to Sterling Bank for clarifications. 

"The Bank came out clean that the State Government had no such account with it, rubbishing the blatant falsehood of the EFCC in a manner that was so embarrassing to the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

"But rather than apologize to the Government of Kogi State and the general public, the EFCC chose to harass the officials of Sterling Bank, coercing them to do everything possible to achieve the aim of roping tue Kogi State Government into their ignominy ring. It ended with a conspiratorial exchange between the EFCC and the CBN. Today, Nigerians are not confused about the personae of Bawa and Emefiele. 

Meanwhile, Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations, on Wednesday, warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, under the leadership of Ola Olukoyede, to refrain from allowing "cankerworms of the previous management left in the system" rubbish his credentials as the Head of the Commission. 

The over 300 anti-corruption activists, under seven broad frontline organisations, noted that it was pertinent for them to sound an early note of warning in view of the fact that the misuse of the EFCC by political gladiators, as a veritable tool of victimization and score-settling, which they thought had been tackled, was suddenly rearing its head again. 

They specifically referred to the Kogi State Government's press statement, which was released on Tuesday, alerting the public to an alleged fresh move by the Commission to witch-hunt the ex-Governor with spurious claims for political reasons. 

The activists pointed out that the crux of the latest persecution, going by the EFCC's amended charge sheet, which featured ex-Governor Bello's name, showed a clear case of desperation for spurious claims to whip up public sentiment against the target, adding that any litigation on corruption founded on political conspiracy would always have no merits to pursue it.

Veracity is of the view that some 'forces' are against Yahaya Bello for reasons unknown to this medium. Bello did a yeoman's job when he was Governor, hence he should be allowed to rest. 

This medium advises the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to do more of investigation before nailing any public figure. 

Veracity also urge politicians to refrain from fanning the embers of violence and allow Yahaya Bello to rest. 

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