Sagay Accuses Ododo of Criminal Offense in Aiding Yahaya Bello’s Escape

by Ohepo Ohepo

Itse Sagay, the former chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has strongly condemned the actions of Kogi Governor Usman Ododo, who is accused of facilitating the escape of his predecessor, Yahaya Bello, from an arrest attempt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Last week, EFCC operatives were deployed around Bello’s residence in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, but were unable to apprehend him due to Ododo’s intervention.

In an interview with TheCable, Sagay described Ododo’s actions as a “clear abuse of immunity,” stressing that the immunity privilege of a sitting governor does not extend to others. “What he did by aiding Yahaya Bello’s escape was illegal and unconstitutional,” Sagay stated. He emphasized that Ododo, by his actions, was harboring a fugitive, thereby committing a criminal offense and making himself an accessory after the fact.

Sagay also expressed relief that the EFCC officials exercised restraint during the incident, noting that any physical confrontation could have escalated the situation. However, he pointed out that the law enforcement officers would have been justified in taking more aggressive measures to apprehend Bello.

Regarding Bello’s ongoing evasion from the law, Sagay advised the former governor to voluntarily submit himself to the EFCC to avoid further disgrace. He argued that coming forward could spare Bello from humiliation and preserve some semblance of dignity. “Whether his hands are clean or not, he should come out and report to EFCC. If he doesn’t, in the end they will still get to him,” he added.

Sagay outlined potential scenarios following a voluntary surrender, including a respectful treatment during interrogation, possible administrative bail, and preparation for defense if charged. He warned that Bello’s reluctance to face the allegations was tarnishing his reputation and could lead to an embarrassing capture in the future.

Yahaya Bello is currently under scrutiny for alleged financial misappropriations amounting to N80.2 billion during his tenure as governor of Kogi State. The situation continues to develop as the EFCC pursues legal avenues to bring Bello to justice.

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