Honour EFCC Invitation and clear your name – Natasha Akpoti tells Yahaya Bello

Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, the lawmaker representing Kogi Central senatorial district has urged the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello to honour the invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding an alleged N80.2 billion alleged fraud.

The senator lauded efforts by the EFCC to apprehend and prosecute Bello over the alleged fraud committed while in office as governor.

She also commended the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, for ceding 14 properties that were initially forfeited to the Nigerian Government to the government and people of Enugu State, according to a statement from Arogbonlo Israel, Chief Press Secretary to Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan, on Friday.

However, Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan emphasised the need for the EFCC to investigate other corrupt public officials to avoid the impression that their actions against Bello were merely a witch-hunt.

She expressed surprise at Bello’s excuse for not attending the EFCC’s invitation.

The EFCC Chairman had claimed that when he invited Bello to his office for questioning, the former Kogi governor told him that a senator (name withheld) had allegedly gathered journalists to humiliate him anytime he was at the agency’s office in Abuja for interrogation.

“I called Yahaya Bello, as a serving governor, to come to my office to clear himself. I shouldn’t have done that. But he said because a certain senator had planted over 100 journalists in my office, he would not come.

“I told him that he would be allowed to use my private gate to give him a cover, but he said my men should come to his village to interrogate him,” Olukoyede was quoted as saying.

Reacting, Natasha reminded Bello of the importance of respecting Nigeria’s laws and constitution, given his former position as the chief security officer of Kogi.

She said, “I was surprised to hear that Yahaya Bello evaded the invitation from the EFCC, despite having served as Kogi’s former chief security officer.

“As a former governor, he should understand the importance of respecting Nigeria’s laws and constitution.

“It’s a well-known fact that ‘he who comes into equity must come with clean hands’. As such, I advise him to honour the invitation and clear his name while he still has the chance.

“I’d also like to take this moment to appreciate the diligence of the EFCC in handling the case so far.

“No Nigerian is above the law, and therefore the agency must see this case through to the end if they are to gain the trust of both Nigerians and the international community in the fight against corruption.”