Ex-gov. urges fugitive Yahaya Bello to turn himself in

A former governor, Samuel Ortom, has urged fugitive politician, Yayaha Bello, to turn himself in to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The EFCC, Nigeria’s anti-graft commission, is prosecuting Bello for stealing over ₦80 billion during his two term tenures as governor of Kogi State.

The former governor was also alleged to have hurriedly withdrawn 720,000 dollars from the state coffers to pay for his child’s school fees at the Lead British International School.

The school is now cooperating with the EFCC to refund the money.

During a function, held in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State, Ortom advised his co-former governor to stop hiding from the law.

“You don’t need to hide. You don’t need to resist arrest or anything. Go there and respond,” Ortom advised Bello, who was considered the youngest governor at the time he led the north-central state.

Ortom added: “The EFCC (officials) are human beings.

“ If they are making inquiries, the laws are there. I have tried to get him on the phone, but I could not.

“I have tried those around him but I could not, so I want this to be noted. Wherever he is, if he can hear me, thank God the press is here, he should come out.”

TheCornet reports that Bello had refused arrest and equally failed to appear in court to take his plea during arraignment.

In a recent instance, EFCC officials had stormed Bello’s Abuja residence to arrest him but failed to do so.

The hours-long standoff ended with Bello’s handpicked successor, Usman Ododo, whisking him away in his official vehicle under the immunity powers enjoyed by Nigerian governors.

While he had failed to present himself, the EFCC proceeded to arraign Bello in absentia.

At the last hearing of the case, Bello’s lawyer appealed to Justice Emeka Nwite, who is hearing the suit, to rescind a warrant for Bello’s arrest.

But, in a counter argument, the EFCC’s counsels stated that Bello must, first, appear in court to take his plea.

Having listened to both prayers, Justice Nwite adjourned till another date to deliver a ruling.

Kogi State is one of the poorest states in the Nigerian federation, generating a little over a billion naira in internally generated revenue and largely dependent on monthly monetary allocations and other statutory payments from the federal government.





Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button