EFCC, Yahaya Bello And The Shame Of A Nation


By Frank Oshanugor

The drama that has played out in the past few days between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello in connection with alleged money laundering and stealing has once again brought to the fore, the rottenness in our governance space and the impunity of some political office holders.

As expected, the matter has already pitched many Nigerians against themselves as those who are in support of Bello do not see any reason why the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede should threaten to resign his position if he is not allowed to prosecute Bello on the 19 count charges against him. They accuse him of selective prosecution since there are many other politicians especially former Governors whose matters have been swept under the carpet by the same anti graft agency over the years.

On the other hand, those against Bello, do not see any thing wrong in EFCC pursuing his case with such gusto that seems to suggest that the agency was doing someone else’s bidding. They strongly feel that even though there are others still to be prosecuted, there is certainly nothing wrong in the attempt to make Bello to account for his stewardship as a former Governor, provided the EFCC is acting in accordance with its statutory mandate.

While the judiciary is making mockery of itself by courts of coordinate jurisdiction giving counter orders with the arrest or otherwise of Bello who has refused to honour EFCC’s invitation, the Kogi State House of Assembly legislators were busy passing a vote of confidence in Yahaya Bello who has allegedly milked the state dry.

Now that the Abuja American International School has come out to declare that Bello deposited $845,852 as school fees for his five children covering a period of 14 years, how are the Kogi law makers going to defend this, as it has become very obvious that Bello carted away the money from Kogi State coffers during his tenure as Governor. The American International School authorities have gone ahead to refund a total of $760,910 with a retention of about $84,942 as administrative charges based upon an alleged agreement with the EFCC.

Yes, agreed that the EFCC boss was somehow emotional during last Tuesday’s media briefing as some public analysts have posited, it does not in any way vitiate the argument of Bello’s inhumanity to the people of Kogi State many of whom still reel in abject poverty after his eight-year rule.

Such a humongous amount that runs into billions of naira would have been enough to build some manufacturing companies that could provide employment for people of the state.

Interestingly, Yahaya Bello is an archetype of many Nigerian governors, law makers, ministers, past or present, whose pre-occupation is to primitively accumulate at the expense of people they were elected or appointed to provide for.

The irony of the wickedness in governance space in Nigeria is the fact that the oppressed are bought cheaply by the oppressors, hence some fake lawyers could stage some protest against EFCC on behalf of Bello.

Similar thing played out weeks to the 2023 presidential election when some fake bishops were bought over to parade themselves as Bishops representing the Christian fate endorsing Bola Tinubu’s presidency. Tinubu is President today but what has become the fate of the so called Bishops? They are all begging for survival like the average Nigerian.

Many people in the political class have bastardised all known governance principles ranging from abuse of the rule of law, to outright manipulation and weakening of institutions of the state to suit their selfish interest.

This could ostensibly be the reason Olukoyede threatened to resign his position as EFCC Chairman because very soon “powerful elements” from the political class who are bent on stagnating Nigeria’s development would begin to prevail on him (Olukoyede) to drop the charges against Bello or risk being disgraced like his predecessors.

Nigeria is the only country in the world where those in ruling party would beckon on those on opposition parties facing criminal charges against the state to openly defect to the ruling party and become saints with their charges dropped.

How can anyone expect the EFCC to perform creditably in that wise when its management is already encumbered by the dictatorial tendencies of the government in power. Honestly, I have my sympathy for Ola Olukoyede who may have meant well for the country as Chairman of EFCC as his efforts are likely to be whittled down by the same forces that have kept Nigeria crawling in the comity of nations

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

Leave a Reply