Leadership of Middle Belt Vanguard For Good Governance.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – An appeal has been made to President Bola Tinubu to caution the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on what they termed as the arbitrary use of power to molest and harass Nigerians without following the due process.

The group, Middle Belt Vanguard For Good Governance spoke on the heels of the ongoing fiasco between the EFCC and the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello where the group insisted the development is worrisome.

Addressing journalists in Jos on Wednesday, Sani Dakko who read the text said, “The worrisome development emanating from the stables of the EFCC, who in a Gestapo-styled operation reminiscent of the dark days of military regime stormed and barricaded the residence of the former Governor of Kogi State Alh Yahaya Bello in a brazen attempt to arrest him without a warrant under a bogus claim of misappropriation of State funds and money laundering is a matter of concern to every true lover of democracy and social justice.

“This appalling and morally reprehensible action from the EFCC which sad event occurred on the 17th of April 2024 has made our dear nation Nigeria a laughing stock among the comity of nations, reinforcing this aberration is the call by the EFCC spokesman to involve the military in arresting a person who has not been served any sermon or convicted by any competent Court. This call is akin to a ‘coup’ and denigration of our nascent democracy.

READ: NUGA: ASR Africa begins construction of sports complex at UniJos

“The flagrant disregard for constituted authority and our judiciary by the EFCC should not be a matter to be treated with levity. The High Court in Kogi State on the 9th of February 2024, granted an interim injunction restraining the EFCC from “continuing to harass, threaten to arrest, detain, prosecute” Alh Yahaya Bello, his former appointees, and his staff or family members pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion for the enforcement of his fundamental rights.

“This said order was duly served on the EFCC on the 12th of February 2024, and on the 26th of February the EFCC filed an appeal with (appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission VS Alhaji Yahaya Bello) against the said order to the Court of Appeal Abuja division. The appeal was accompanied by a motion for a stay of execution of the order of the High Court, which the Court of Appeal adjourned for hearing till the 23rd of April 2024.”

He called President Bola Tinubu to “call the EFCC to order, to desist from any fifth column tactics that will undermine our democratic solidarity. This will avoid putting our beloved country on the international spotlight,” and stressed that “the EFCC which is a creation of laws must not subvert the course of justice if they indeed have any case against the former governor. They must not resort to abusing the judicial process and trampling on the fundamental human rights of the former Governor or any citizen of Nigeria by disobedience of the judiciary and the rule of law.”

He added, “We are fully supportive of the EFCC to investigate and try Alhaji Yahaya Bello, but the rule of law must be obeyed. While we pray the EFCC does not make itself a pariah of democracy, it is worthy of note that the onus rests squarely on the Courts to determine whether or not the EFCC is acting in breach of a subsisting order or otherwise. Your timely intervention to save democracy and assure every citizen of an equal stake is now and sacrosanct.”