23 July 2024

Activists to EFCC: Those calling for Yahaya Bello’s arrest despite court process ‘tools in the hands of desperate political actors’

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Again, scores of activists hit the streets of Lagos on Saturday demanding an end to what they described as the mischievous use of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission platform to malign perceived enemies by opposition forces.

The activists, who frowned at the consistent call for anarchy in a democratic setting by those that their investigations had established to be working for known opposition figures in Kogi State, called on the EFCC to ignore the “sponsored, desperate calls” and focus on toeing the path of the rule of law.

The over 80 Human Rights Civil Society Organizations, under the broad umbrella of Citizens Action Against Lawlessness, said those calling for the EFCC to ignore an ongoing court process and forcefully arrest a defendant, former Governor Yahaya Bello, were not only ignorant of the rule of law and up to some mischief, but also tools in the hands of desperate political actors to rubbish the integrity of the Commission.

While commending the EFCC for heeding the calls of reasonable, unbiased Nigerians and CSOs for the Commission to correct past mistakes and avoid disregard for the rule of law, the activists labelled those calling for Yahaya Bello’s arrest as anarchists who the EFCC boss must be wary of.

“The same way this particular group of people have spread falsehood against judges, who they earlier boasted were for them, against prominent figures perceived to be close to President Bola Tinubu, and against APC governors that they felt were supporting them during the election in Kogi and at the Tribunal, is the same way they will turn against the EFCC boss with baseless allegations. It is their stock in trade. The EFCC boss and other relevant authorities must detect this and put them in their place,” Segun Abegunde, Co-Convener of the Joint CSOs platform, said.

Abegunde, who is also the Coordinator of the South West Progressive Youths Organisation stated, “We insist that this is beyond corruption investigation but political persecution. Some sponsored anarchists still went to the EFCC Zonal office today to call on the Commission to use military force to attack the defendant’s known residences and abduct him. There have been insinuations that they are even planning to use fake soldiers in order to inflict maximum damage.”

“The target of these anarchists is to provoke crisis so that a state of emergency can be declared in the state. If they’ve lost at the polls and at the Tribunal, they most likely think they can create a crisis that will still serve their purpose. Why the desperation to hunt the man down at all costs? Many who understand the politics in the state know that these calls are nothing more than a revenge mission for a botched Igala agenda, believed to be the sole fault of Bello, as well as a way for other political enemies in the state to get their pound of flesh,” the activists noted.

According to them, “these anarchists” must be called to order as they have allowed their insatiable appetite for revenge turn them into agents of destruction for the country.

“We call on President Bola Tinubu to call on the security agencies to be at alert as nothing bad must happen to Yahaya Bello or any of his family members.

“Let the courts decide Yahaya Bello’s fate. Desperate opposition forces should not plot to kill him by all means. We demand due court processes. We say no to political persecution. We say no to opposition politicians using EFCC to attack Yahaya Bello who they consider their political enemy.

“EFCC must avoid anarchists bent on tarnishing its image. They should rather sharpen their political skills and leave the anti-graft agency alone. We will always give our unflinching support to the EFCC to carry out its duties strictly in line with the rule of the same law that set it up,” the activists said.

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