EFCC Vs. Bello: Coalition of Youth Groups call for due process, condemn media trial

Frontline Youth Groups in Nigeria staged a combined peaceful protest in Abuja on Tuesday, against what they termed a political colouration to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's allegations against former Governor Yahaya Bello.

The youth groups, including the Yoruba Youth Council, Northern Youth Assembly of Nigeria, North Central Youth Council, All Progressives Congress Youth Ambassadors and APC National Students Forum, all called on the National Assembly and Attorney General of the Federation to call the EFCC to order and ensure due process is followed in the matter.

According to them, many Nigerians were not aware of the legal bottlenecks involved in the matter at the beginning, which clearly show that the former Governor was protected by the law and that the Commission acted in a hurry. 

The youths, numbering over 1,000, stormed the National Assembly Gate, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as "Respect the rule of law", and "NYLC condemns media trial", among others.

National President, Yoruba Youth Council, Prince Ayodele Gbologe, said, "If the EFCC has a case against the former Governor, let them follow the normal procedure, not just following any backdoor to just arrest anybody or think of intimidating any Nigerian. There is rule of law. They should follow the rule of law. The Chairman of the EFCC calls himself a lawyer, the court has given an order, let them follow it. If they have any case against him, let them prosecute him. Not to be using EFCC to maltreat any Nigerian. 

"Today, it is the case of Yahaya Bello; tomorrow, it can be me and it can be any other person. So we have to fight for the future of Nigeria. An organisation that has not been able to sanitize themselves. An organisation that has not been able to wash their dirty clothes. What happened to the former EFCC bosses? What we are saying is that they should follow due process in prosecuting anybody."

Rt. Hon Mahmoud Mohammed, who signed a statement on behalf of the Coalition of  Youth Groups, said, "The Northern Youth Assembly of Nigeria (NYAN) condemns in strongest terms the continued harassment of His Excellency, Alh Yahaya Adoza Bello, the immediate past youthful and useful Governor of Kogi State. We are calling on the EFCC to respect the rule of law and not to make it a personal thing.

"The Commission should stop the ongoing media trial because it's derailing the mandate of the Organization and thereby making it a laughing stock before the international community.

"NYAN understands that since the Ebira People retained the Governorship Seat of Kogi State, the Opposition Party (SDP) has been sponsoring all kinds of attacks, using any means they can, against the immediate past Governor as the individual who hindered them from returning to Power in Kogi State.

"Hence, we call on EFCC to be careful, not to allow itself to be used, as the Commission has its name to protect. Alh Yahaya Adoza Bello has performed well as Govenor of Kogi State and his footprints are all over the State."

Other youths that addressed Journalists called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to stop all political victimization of Yahaya Bello and also condemned it.