Politics

Attorney general asks Yahaya Bello to surrender to EFCC

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Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has asked Yahaya Bello, the immediate past governor of Kogi State, to surrender himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

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

He said “the bizarre drama confronting the 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.”

He continued: “It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status.

“Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“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.

The anti corruption agency had in a 19-count charge it filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, accused the ex-governor of complicity in money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of about N84 billion.

Attempt by the commission to arrest him at his Abuja residence on Wednesday was allegedly foiled by the incumbent governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Ododo, who was said to have whisked him away in his official car.

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