EFCC Blasts High-Level Cover-Up Shielding Yahaya Bello in N80bn Fraud Scandal

by Ohepo Ohepo

Abuja, Nigeria – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a scathing attack on elements within Nigeria’s justice system, accusing them of protecting former Kogi State governor Yahaya Bello, who is embroiled in a staggering N80.2 billion fraud scandal. Mr. Effa Okim, the EFCC acting Zonal Director of the Benin Zonal Command, made these explosive claims during a visit to the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Asaba, Delta State.

Mr. Okim expressed deep frustration over the failure to bring Bello to justice, highlighting the former governor’s repeated absences from court and the EFCC’s unsuccessful attempts to arrest him. Despite being declared wanted and placed on a watchlist by Nigerian Immigration, Bello has managed to evade trial, a situation Okim described as a significant disgrace to the Nigerian justice system.

“This is the last question I expected because the shame is on all of us. Is that a question I should answer alone? It’s not me, it is the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Okim stated, underscoring the collective embarrassment over the inability to apprehend Bello. He pointed fingers at influential figures and political allies who continue to protect the ex-governor despite clear evidence and allegations of fraud.

Okim questioned the inaction of Bello’s political peers and government officials, suggesting they have failed to hold him accountable. “Can’t they call him and tell him, ‘You are disgracing Nigeria’? What are you telling the world? Tell him to go and explain himself like others have done,” he urged.

The EFCC director emphasized the moral decay represented by this case, stating that beyond legal issues, the failure to bring Bello to justice undermines the ethical standards of Nigerian society. “Where has morality gone before legality that we can’t summon that man and tell him to go and report himself to the EFCC?” he asked.

Okim also criticized those who continue to support Bello despite the damning allegations, arguing that such actions damage Nigeria’s image and set a poor example for future generations. He called on the media to play a more active role in holding Bello accountable by uniting to criticize his evasion of justice.

Mr. Churchill Oyowe, Chairman of the NUJ Delta State Council, assured the EFCC of journalists’ support in Delta State, indicating a willingness to collaborate in ensuring that justice is served.

This scandalous situation underscores ongoing challenges within Nigeria’s justice system, where political influence and systemic corruption can thwart the prosecution of high-profile individuals. The EFCC’s battle to bring Bello to account highlights the urgent need for reforms to strengthen the rule of law and ensure accountability at all levels of government.

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