I was never invited, not running or afraid – Yahaya Bello replies EFCC Chairman

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Former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has denied being a fugitive

Bello said contrary to claims, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had never invited him for questioning.

Speaking through his media officer, Ohiare Michael, the former governor said EFCC declared him wanted without inviting him for questioning.

He challenged EFCC to provide evidence of the invitation sent to him after he left office.

A statement by Michael reads partly: “Let it be known to all that Alhaji Yahaya Bello is not afraid of the EFCC, he is not a fugitive running from the law. All he demands is that the rule of law be respected.

“The EFCC stated that they invited Alhaji Yahaya Bello immediately after his tenure ended on the 27th of January 2024. We challenge the EFCC to publish a copy of the invitation delivered to Yahaya Bello

“They should also tell Nigerians the date the alleged invitation was delivered and who it was delivered to. We are certain that the EFCC will not be able to produce any of the foregoing as to date, they have yet to invite Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

“Indeed, just about the end of his administration, several online news sites published that the EFCC would arrest the Governor as soon as he handed over power to his successor as they intended to charge him for alleged crimes committed as Governor of Kogi State.”

The EFCC accused Bello of involvement in the laundering of N80.2 billion belonging to the Kogi State Government.

On April 17, EFCC operatives laid siege to Bello’s Abuja residence in a bid to arrest him.

While the operatives were at Bello’s residence, Usman Ododo, Governor of Kogi, arrived at the scene.

Shortly after Ododo left the residence, the EFCC operatives ended their siege.

Bello was believed to have been rescued from his residence by Ododo.

Amid the drama, the Kogi High Court issued a restraining order to the commission from “harassing, threatening to arrest or detaining” Bello.

On the same day, the EFCC obtained a warrant of arrest against Bello from a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Subsequently, Bello’s whereabouts became unknown, hence he was declared wanted by the anti-graft agency and placed on a watchlist.

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