Igala Elders’conspiracy with EFCC to take out Yahaya Bello won’t work–Group

….as Tinubu urged to swiftly protect Bello.

Based on the ongoing hounding, harassment, media blackmail and trial including using state apparatchik to malign, intimidate and take out the former Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, we are compelled to issue the following terse statement to put all the scenarios in proper perspective for Nigerians to know the succinct truth:

  1. As members of Humanity Africa (HM), we have watched with utter sadness and serious concern, the news going round on the plot to take out the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in a grand conspiracy between a section of the Igala Elders, Social Democratic Party (SDP) leadership and some forces controlling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The story, credited to an active member of the opposition from the Igala axis of the state, could have been ignored as the ranting of some desperate political fortune-seekers and drowning men. But for the visibility of the person in series of threats against Yahaya Bello campaign of calumny, including the sponsored protest staged recently in front of EFCC headquarters in Abuja aimed at giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it, which was also targeted at giving a “guilty-as-charged” verdict against an innocent person. This should not happen until the accused person is supposedly proven guilty by a competent court of law. We condemn in its entirety the lackluster shenanigans of the EFCC – in tandem with the Igala Elders and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) leadership to “kill” Yahaya Bello at whatever cost. That informs our reason for calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to as a matter of urgency, come to the aid of the embattled former governor.
  2. The said rogue agent, working in collaboration with others, has appeared as a politician and in another breath, heads a pseudo-NGO in thick plot and in support of the persecution agenda against Yahaya Bello.
  3. But for the twist in the antics employed by the politicians, so-called elders and another partisan lawyer, cooking up blatant lies, clandestine plots and mischief disguised as anti-corruption narratives (but clearly a sectarian agenda and ethnic motive to take Yahaya Bello out of circulation at all cost and by all means because of his Ebira ethnic stock). This, we understand, is also aimed at wiping the Ebiras out of future political struggles, calculations, permutations and state matters and is, indeed, condemnable by discerning Nigerians.
  4. Haba! The utter rubbish, unfounded and contradictory statements credited to the EFCC Chairman, during his desperate media conference are a sad reminder and narrative of how dispassionate the Commission has been operating under the present and past leadership. The selective nature of the handling of the Bello’s case has eroded the passion and commitment of the Nigerian people in the fight against graft in order to settle political and sectarian scores.
  5. It is on record, that Yahaya Bello has consistently paid school fees for his children over the years. But some characters in the EFCC hobnobbing with others pursuing ethnic and primordial agenda and sentiments twisted logic on its head just to give Bello a bad name in order to hang him, claimed he only paid the school fees at the twilight of his administration leaving the Kogi State Government House.
  6. The mere involvement of ethnic champions in the contrived narrative against Yahaya Bello by EFCC, with all the complexities and cleavages associated with governance, shows the Commission’s desperation and clannish attitude in acting out a script at the behest and inducement of tribal jingoists still nursing an injury of electoral defeat suffered by them during both the Presidential and Governorship elections held in the state last year. They should hide their heads in shame and move on and take their defeat in the spirit of sportsmanship.
  7. Every reasonable person knows the antecedents of the people fighting Bello and the interest they are still serving. They are either suffering from amnesia or surely taking Nigerians for fools. It’s either of these postulations that can only explain their naked hatred for Bello’s political dexterity, sagacity and the magnitude of bitterness and anger they have deployed against him for his refusal to allow them hijack the treasury of Kogi State as well as refusal to grant them unfitted access to the political empire. In fact, they are working to make President Tinubu the fall guy after they finish dealing with all the people that mobilized and voted for him into office, not minding the fact that 2027 is just by the corner and Yahaya Bello is still a factor in Kogi politics and national landscape. We ask the state apparatchik to thread carefully in this matter and let reason override the emotions of hounding a reliable party man and stakeholder whose only offence is in overwhelmingly winning the presidential elections for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in spite of what transpired before, during and after the elections. We ask that we should all ‘MOVE’.
  8. The issue of the EFCC’s arbitrariness and selective persecution of suspects has been settled a long time ago. It is a fact that everyone, except dishonest minds, knows the present Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume during his tenure as Governor of Benue State, and how he went to court and secured an order against the EFCC then. After his exit, till date, the Commission has never harassed, but has rather allowed the judicial process to take its course and take care of itself. So many other cases abound in our history, as encapsulated by both Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa and Chief Mike Ezekhome (SAN) amongst so many other distinguished legal luminaries who have spoken against the Gestapo-like handling of the allegations against Yahaya Bello and similar cases based on previous rulings in courts of competent jurisdiction.
  9. If the people haunting Bello are sincere with themselves, they should recuse themselves from any form of subjudicial act and brigandage against him and allow the courts to decide his case devoid of interference in any manner whatsoever. It doesn’t seem likely that Bello is going to have justice in the hands of these fifth columnists who are hell-bent on achieving illegality, and people deficient in fairness, objectivity and the rule of law.
  10. It is on record, that the same EFCC, in a similar undemocratic manner and clear breach of the fundamental rights of late Hon. Morris Ebekwe (then incumbent of the House of Representatives), was arrested for advanced fee fraud and was incarcerated for a very long period of time in a purely bailable offence. He was left in detention without trial until his eventual death under very suspicious circumstances. The then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was blamed for the death of the man and, as such, we do not want such to happen to our youthful presidential hopeful and a shinning light of the Ebiras.
  11. Nigerians are genuinely concerned and troubled with the revelation coming from a section of the Igala Elders Forum of Kogi State. There are more to it than meets the eye; hypocrisy and fraternization between the Commission, the infamous Igala group and some SDP leaders including compromised or vested interest personalities, are working based on ethnic induced agenda to give Yahaya Bello the exact type of evil treatment applied to late Hon. Ebekwe in EFCC custody. There is even an increasing tone of desperation by some clowns urging Bello to submit to people working round the clock to deny him justice. These same characters would turn round to push the blame game against President Bola Tinubu by the time they finish with Bello, during his expected incarceration.
  12. It is the candid opinions of many Nigerians that the war against corruption under Magu, Bawa and present Olukayode is tainted, derailed and tailored towards serving another interest different from the one of Nigerians and President Bola Tinubu. They are also having reservation on the powers being used by the Commission against state governors and their appointees without the needed requisite complaints or indictment from the constitutionally created State Houses of Assembly, as enshrined in our laws. The appropriate thing for the EFCC is to concentrate on the thousands of cases related to treasury banditry at their federal jurisdiction. Of particular interest to us is the case of the failed Jos-to-Maiduguri rail-line project awarded in the year 2012. The sum of more than N23 billion US dollars was paid to shadowy contractors with nothing to show on ground to justify the expense. There are so many abandoned cases related to corruption and abuse of office, including others directly linked to operatives of the Commission that exited from the service after they became wealthy. This aspect is for another day.
  13. We have agreed that some people are pretending to be fighting corruption, shedding crocodile tears seeking to earn the confidence of President Tinubu. Our candid advice is that such persons must desist from such devilish acts and not seek to do so by taking sides or sympathizing with ethnic motivated cases. Some politicians who have something to hide or seeking to settle scores, are behind these uncanny ways of ambushing President Tinubu’s government. We therefore, implore the President, as the unbiased personality we know, as father of all, to protect Yahaya Bello against the people trying to give him the Ebekwe treatment. We all know that over the years, President Tinubu has fought against arbitrariness and high handedness of the EFCC under the Obasanjo-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) era and stood by several politically-exposed persons maltreated with similar suffocating tactics akin to this Bello matter persecuted by the EFCC and their running dogs during the said era of locusts. The President himself was a victim of frame-up and phantom charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in which he came out victorious because he was unjustly being persecuted based on rhetorics. The same can be seen today also and we must tread carefully and not allow emotions becloud our judgement.
  14. After all, by our laws, offenders are presumed innocent, until proven otherwise, by a competent court of jurisdiction after being tried and evidences against such persons weighed before exacting punishment and sentences.


Convener, Humanity Africa (HM)

Secretary, Humanity Africa (HM)