Yahaya Bello: EFCC Chairman’s conduct suggest vendetta, not fight against corruption - Concerned APC chieftains

Chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress have said that an unbiased assessment of the alleged media trial of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission goings showcases grounds for strong suspicion of vendetta.

The Stakeholders, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja on Friday said, while the public was being misled into the erroneous impression that the EFCC was trying to fight corruption, "it is actually just a pretense in furtherance of a personal vendetta on behalf of, and, at the behest of persons in government intent on the bastardisation of our institutions of state."

Lawyer and Head of the Tinubu Media Support Group, Barrister Jesutega Onokpasa, while addressing the press, on behalf of on behalf of Concerned Chieftains, Stalwarts of the APC, stated, "We, concerned Chieftains, Stalwarts and Stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, find certain pertinent issues emanating from the matter between the former Governor of Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to be quite unfortunate, most disturbing and totally unacceptable in a nation governed by laws.

"Indeed, an unbiased assessment of the goings on in this matter profusely showcase grounds for strong suspicion that while the public is being misled into the erroneous impression that the EFCC is trying to fight corruption, it is actually just a pretense in furtherance of a personal vendetta on behalf of, and, at the behest of persons in government intent on the bastardisation of our institutions of state.

"The EFCC Chairman, in a most bizarre and utterly absurd approach to law enforcement, confessed to having offered former Governor Yahaya Bello the option of passing through the backdoor of the commission's headquarters for preferential treatment in the Chairman's own office!

"By the way, this highly irregular and unorthodox offer was made not vide a proper invitation in the contemplation of law but through the most irregular route of a mere phone call, according to the EFCC Chairman.

"In the midst of this show of shame, the EFCC Chairman then proceeded to appoint himself a judge, jury and executioner by transferring a case the agency he heads had purportedly filed in court to the court of public opinion, clearly in the hope of whipping up public sentiments against former Governor Yahaya Bello and unleashing mob justice on him.

"We find it most unprofessional and quite shameful that a lawyer would so brazenly seek to pervert the course of justice by preferring to litigate a matter before the legal court of law in the illegal court of public opinion.

A citizen in the position of former Governor Yahaya Bello, especially not being a lawyer, would naturally be suspicious of the gamut of shenanigans that have been machinated against him thus far and be quite apprehensive that his traducers have something else in mind that is totally different from their quite laughable public position that they are fighting corruption.

"It has been said that 'if you fight corruption, corruption will fight back' but this is clearly a case of corruption pretending to be fighting corruption.

"In short, it is clear that those intent on harming former Governor Yahaya Bello are so full of themselves as to appropriate our institutions of state for self-aggrandizement and the prosecution of their personal agenda rather than upholding the rule of law.

"Far from being a cherished agency we can rely on to rid our nation of corruption, the EFCC has only succeeded in thoroughly embarrassing our nation before the international community.

"This entire affair has become a mainstream media as well as a social media sensation and it is all thanks to the EFCC bungling its absurd pretense of having a case against former Governor Yahaya Bello.

"Seldom have we witnessed a more bewildering absurdity as the conduct of the EFCC in this matter.

We must protect our institutions from abuse and our government from ridicule.

"We most certainly do not condone corruption and both individually and collectively oppose it in all its ramifications.

"But weaponising an agency of government into an instrument of intimidation and deviating from its mandate, even to the extent of giving the highly disturbing impression that it has decomposed into a willing tool in the hands of people in power for the purpose of hounding their political enemies is a most heinous form of corruption.

"Former Governor Yahaya Bello is most certainly not above the law but so also is the EFCC, any other agency of government and, even the government, itself, not above the law.

"The EFCC is certainly not fighting corruption in this instance.

You do not properly invite a man; you said you called him on the phone offering to smuggle him through the backdoor; you do not inform another court of coordinate jurisdiction that you have been restrained from arresting, arraigning or prosecuting him; you brazenly engage in forum shopping; you proceed in gestapo fashion to carry out an illegal arrest; you secretly file an appeal out of time; you then withdraw that appeal quietly only for news of that withdrawal to filter out days later; clearly realising you do not have a case, you proceed to tarnish the reputation of a citizen you claim to have a case to answer by calling a press conference most unbecoming of a lawyer, public official and government agency!

"You try to tarnish the reputation of a sitting Governor by accusing him of smuggling his predecessor from a private residence only for you to admit that you were actually the one who offered to smuggle him through the backdoor into your office at the headquarters of a government agency!

What a show of shame!

We fight corruption according to law and we subject any person of interest pertaining thereto to the due process of law in a court of law.

"Instructively, the party that has placed himself under the law and authority of the courts in this matter is former Governor Yahaya Bello, who has painstakingly and consistently followed the law.

"On the other hand, the EFCC, in its usual manner, has insisted on deploying patently unlawful and unbecoming approaches to this matter, indeed in a manner most contrary to the rule of law and one that is most unacceptably disrespectful to the Judiciary.

"The rule of law must always prevail because without the law, we would not have a society and without courts, we would not have a civilisation.

Barr. Jesutega Onokpasa, 

For and  Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC.