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EFCC Advised to Follow Due Process in Its Case Against Yahaya Bello

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EFCC Advised to Follow Due Process in Its Case Against Yahaya Bello

By: Michael Mike

Amidst the legal fireworks on the warrant of arrest on former Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, and the restraining order issued by the Kogi State High Court, a coalition of anti-corruption groups led by the Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative (ARDI) have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to follow due process in the prosecution of the former governor.

Bello is under investigation over alleged embezzlement of N80.2 billion.

On Tuesday, a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Emeka Nwite, ordered the EFCC to serve the money laundering charges against the former governor through his lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohammed.

Nwite, relying on section 382(4) and (5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), also ordered Mr Mohammed, having announced an unconditional appearance for the former governor, to accept service on behalf of the defendant.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the publicity director of the Anti-corruption and Research-based Initiative (ARDI), Mr Nwabueze Anyanwu, who led a coalition of CSOs, said the groups had, over the last few weeks, followed with keen interest the current impasse between the EFCC and Bello, which culminated in the raid on his private residence in Abuja.

He said the Coalition’s “concern hinges on the need for both parties to work within the ambit of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to avoid subjecting the War on Corruption in this country to further odium in the eyes of right-thinking people, as well as do our bit to avert the ongoing and needless overheating of our polity.”

The coalition claimed that the anti-graft agency has not extended to Bello the customary investigation to visit her offices for the purposes of assisting her in any investigations

It stressed that it could not also find evidence anywhere, no matter how remote, where the Commission has asserted that she did extend such an invitation to him.

Ozugbi said the coalition knows that the Commission would usually send an invitation letter, and often several reminders, to a respondent in any petition before even seeking warrants of arrest, and certainly long before taking drastic actions like the raid it conducted last Thursday.

He added: “The attempt by officers of the EFCC to arrest Alhaji Yahaya Bello is in flagrant disregard of a subsisting court order that comprehensively bars her from doing so based on a determination that their actions in the entire circumstances of the case amount to actual and threatened breach of all of his fundamental human rights

“The EFCC is currently at the Appeal Court to challenge that subsisting order of the High Court of Kogi State and the Appellate Court has insisted that parties should maintain the status quo pending determination of the appeal. We are convinced that the EFCC has breached both the principles of the sanctity of court orders and the pendency of suits by her subsequent actions.

“This informs our conclusion that the EFCC’s raid on Yahaya Bello’s Residence at No. 9 Benghazi Street, Zone 4, Wuse, Abuja, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, is in disobedience of subsisting orders of courts and practice procedure, making it both regrettable and an aberration under the Rule of Law.”

It further recalled that EFCC, under the leadership of Abdul Rasheed Bawa, had previously accused Bello of hiding the sum of $20 billion as bail-out money due to Kogi State in a Sterling Bank account and for his own aggrandisement and personal enrichment

It said that from 2022, when it first became breaking news at the instance of the EFCC, till today, the agency could not substantiate that particular allegation against Bello in any court of law with the same energy with which it tried and found him guilty of it in the media.
“The sundry allegations of embezzlement of a whopping sum of N80.2bn by EFCC against Alhaji Yahaya Bello is poorly presented and appear to be politically motivated

“The EFCC, under the leadership of Abdul Rasheed Bawa (former Chairman of the Commission), had previously accused Alhaji Yahaya Bello of hiding a whooping sum of N20billion being bail-out money due to Kogi State in a Sterling Bank account, and for his own aggrandisement and personal enrichment

“From 2022, when it first became breaking news at the instance of the EFCC, till today, the agency could not substantiate that particular allegation against Alhaji Yahaya Bello in any court of law with the same energy with which it tried and found him guilty of it in the media. As it is, those allegations seem to have evaporated with the exit of Bawa as chairman, while new allegations have surfaced under the newest leadership.

“The EFCC originally alleged that the N80.2bn embezzlement occurred in September 2015, except that will put the alleged offence several months before Alhaji Yahaya Bello assumed office for the first time as Kogi State Governor, having not been an official or servant of the Kogi State Government in any capacity prior to then.

“Perhaps, confronted with the incongruity of that accusation, the Commission later amended the date to February 2016, that is, just 3 weeks after he assumed office, and by which time the records show that his administration was yet to collect its first federal allocation. The Anti-Corruption Coalition will really appreciate deeper insight from the Anti-Corruption agency on the mechanics of these charges.

“The inconsistencies in the allegations by the EFCC against Alhaji Yahaya Bello clearly show that the allegations lack substance. Moreover, the EFCC has continued a sensational media trial of Alhaji Yahaya Bello with media releases in a staccato fashion that call to question how they serve the interests of justice in the matter.”

EFCC Advised to Follow Due Process in Its Case Against Yahaya Bello

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Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

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Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

By: Our Reporter

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum received the House Committee on the North East Development Commission (NEDC) led by Chairman, Hon. Usman Zanna, on a visit to Maiduguri. The committee assessed the projects executed by NEDC under the leadership of MD/CEO Alhaji Mohammed Goni.

Hon. Usman Zanna commended NEDC for its remarkable work, particularly the road construction projects in Jere and Mafa Local Government areas. He also praised Governor Zulum’s administration for its achievements in infrastructural development, security, and other areas. He wished the Governor a long life to continue serving humanity.

Governor Zulum expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for establishing NEDC and commended the commission for its developmental projects in the Northeast Region. He requested support for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes, as funding and feeding by the state government and NGOs are no longer sustainable.

Additionally, as Chairman of the Northeast Governor’s Forum, Governor Zulum requested NEDC’s support for a hybrid solar power plant with a capacity of 10MegaWatt, to complement the one being constructed by the states. This will provide sufficient power to the region.

The Governor thanked the committee for their visit and wished them a safe journey back to their destinations.

In attendance were the Head of Service, Commissioners, Special Advisers, and other officials.

Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

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Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

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Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman and CEO of Global Links Limited, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa (Alias Alhaji Bakoji), has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Emir of Tikau, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, in Sabon Garin Nangere, over his recent demise.

Alhaji Bakoji, who is also a renowned transporter in Nigeria, describes the death of the emir of Tikau, Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, as a great loss to the Tikau emirate, Yobe state, and Nigeria at Large.

“The late Emir of Tikau, HRH, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, was a first-class cheif and Paramount pillar of the Karai-karai people.” Alhaji Bakoji said.

According to him, the late monarch was a pillar of strength and wisdom and dedicated his reign to serving the Tikau emirate and upholding our traditional values as a people of Yobe state origin.

He expressed his deepest sympathies to the Emir’s family, the Chiroman Tikau, Alhaji Ibrahim Talba, and loved ones, and prayed to Almighty Allah (SWT) to grant the soul of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, rest in Aljannatul Firdaus. 

Alhaji Bakoji also prayed to Almighty Allah to grant his soul eternal rest in Aljannatul Firdaus, as well as grant his family and the entire people of the Tikau emirate council the fortitude to bear the loss.

Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema died at Specialist Potiskum on May 10th, 2024, after a protected illness. May his soul eternal rest in Aljannatul Firdaus. Ameen.

Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

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Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

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Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

By: Yahaya Wakili

The President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Sardaunan Bade, Yobe North Senatorial District, said it was a pleasure for him to join his successor, the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, CON, for the public presentation of the 10th Senate Magazine during plenary on Wednesday.

Senator Ahmed Lawan revealed this in a statement issued and signed by him, which was made available to Newsng in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

The magazine is a compilation of the achievements of the senate during the 10th legislative session under the leadership of the president of the 10th Senate, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, in the last year.

“During my time as Senate President between 2019 and 2023, we worked tirelessly to serve Nigerians and create impactful legislation to improve the lives of our citizens. I am confident that the 10th Senate Magazine will continue to showcase the hard work and contributions of all Senators who work tirelessly to achieve our legislative agenda,” Senator Ahmed Lawan said.

“I want to congratulate the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for ensuring that the magazine accurately reflects the accomplishments of the 10th Senate.

It is my hope that under his leadership, the Senate will continue to make significant strides in moving our nation forward.

The president of the Ninth Senate further said, I look forward to celebrating the many successes of the Senate with my distinguished colleagues and fellow Nigerians. Together, we will continue to work towards a brighter future for our great nation.

Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

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