N84 Billion Loot: Elements In The Presidency Behind EFCC’s Hunt on Bello – Kogi Govt

by Ohepo Ohepo



1. As a subnational in the Nigerian nationhood, we wish to express our utmost respect for agencies set up to perform specific functions towards the greatness of Nigeria. The Kogi State Government is also conscientiously committed to the determination of the present administration to stop corruption and fight corruption.

2. As an administration, we inherited the zero tolerance for corruption policy from the immediate past administration of His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello, CON. From 2016, the Government of Kogi State has continually strengthened her anti-corruption brakes and bumps to ensure the commonwealth of the people works for the common good of Kogites. This has won the State Government a lot of credible awards from national and international organizations, including the World Bank.

3. A few years back, we witnessed a worrisome trend and torrent of witch-hunt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, unrepentantly striving to force corruption claims on our Government and its officials. The Commission started with claims that it discovered a non-existent fund in an alleged Fixed Deposit Account. It eventually shot itself in the foot with a badly scripted skit of conniving with the now discredited Emefiele-led Central Bank to claim the money was returned to the Central Bank. This is the hight of witch-hunt and unprovoked attack on the integrity of the Government and People of Kogi State.

4. The desperation of the EFCC to hastily and for glaring political reasons, hound the immediate past Governor on their corruption list is unfortunate and speaks volume on how we reward altruistic leadership in our nation. For the records, we wish to make it clear that Kogi’s funds are not missing and that the EFCC is trying so hard to find what is not missing.

5. We therefore call on the EFCC to desist from mentioning the name of Kogi State in its ongoing persecution, orchestrated by some political actors in and around the Presidency bent on destroying the image of Alh. Yahaya Bello and Kogi State. We believe that this ignoble agenda is unknown to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who trusted those people with power with the hope that they will use it judiciously for the greatness of our nation. Unfortunately, they have decided to use the privileges given to them as tools for political vendetta.

6. The amended charges in which the name of the former Governor was mentioned are false, frivolous, fictitious and far from the truth. They are cooked-up charges that signpost their desperation to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. The intention was to sensationalize the whole scenario and promote a media war against the former Governor and other officials of Government. We have seen how low EFCC and its paymasters can go in order to pander to the political agenda of those afraid of the rising profile of Alh. Yahaya Bello.

7. The Kogi State Government wishes to call on Mr President to order a special probe into what is happening in Kogi State before the EFCC is pushed into being used as a hired gun by political hawks who are acting a selfish and overambitious script.

8. As a Government, we will continue to support the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government, howbeit, such crusade should be based on the rule of law, purity of conscience and devoid of political scheming. We cannot afford to politicize our fight against corruption. We will continue to have faith in the judiciary to protect our name and integrity.

9. Those who have personal grievances can vent their grievances without dragging the name of Kogi State in the mud. Our Government believes in transparency, accountability and probity in line with the trend from 2016.

10. We also wish to assure the good people of our State that nothing will be spared to protect the integrity of our Government. Our administration will continue to act in a way that Kogites will be respected wherever they go and for us to retain the respect of our international development partners who have persistently commended our anti-corruption credentials.

Kingsley Femi Fanwo
Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications

15th March, 2024.

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