Probe: Kogi demands Bawa’s arrest, claims EFCC has ‘agenda’ against Yahaya Bello

The Kogi government has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a “pawn in the hands of political opponents in a bid to satisfy certain political interests”.


In a statement on Sunday, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi commissioner for information and communications, said the inspector-general of police (IGP) should arrest Bawa and commit him to prison as “mandated by a competent court of jurisdiction”.



On February 6, a high court sitting in Kogi ordered that Bawa be remanded at the Kuje correctional centre over contempt of court.


R.O. Ayoola, the presiding judge, also ordered the IGP to ensure the committal order was executed, and awarded N10 million against the EFCC.


The committal order was issued over a case involving Ali Bello, identified as the nephew of Yahaya Bello, Kogi governor.


On December 12, 2022, the judge ruled in favour of Bello over his arrest and detention by the EFCC.


But days after the court order, the EFCC re-arrested and re-arraigned Bello over alleged money laundering.


On February 8, the EFCC arraigned Rashida, wife of the Kogi governor, and four others — including Ali Bello — over an 18-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering to the tune of N3 billion.


The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, while Rashida is said to be at large.




In a statement on Sunday, Fanwo accused the EFCC of media trial, adding that no amount of such would distract Yahaya Bello, Kogi governor.


“Our attention has been drawn to series of press statements and terribly woven media campaign against the Kogi State Government and the Governor of Kogi State by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” the statement reads.


“It is sad that an agency charged with the responsibility of fighting graft in the country has turned itself into a pawn in the hands of political opponents with an untamed desperation to damage the integrity of the Governor and the Government of Kogi State.


“The latest shenanigans of the EFCC is to accuse some members of the Governor’s family of corruption, arrest them without any prior invitation or warrant and against extant Court Orders restraining them from so doing and charging them to court.


 “This has further exposed the uncivilised, unconstitutional and unethical practices of the anti-graft agency.


“Their latest approach has further confirmed to Nigerians that they have an institutional agenda against the Governor and Government of Kogi State. Nigerians are wiser now and they know when an operation is politically motivated.”


According to him, no funds are missing from the coffers of the Kogi government.


“We reiterate that funds belonging to the Kogi State Government are not missing and we retain our enviable status in the areas of transparency, accountability and probity,” he said.


 “The shadow chasing by the EFCC and their known and unknown sponsors will not distract our administration from serving our people.


“The seeming attack on Governors that are committed to the victory of the APC Presidential Candidate by the anti-graft agency is well understood by discerning Nigerians. No force can stop the voice of the people.

 “Our decision to drag the Federal Government to court over the hardship experienced by Nigerians as a result of the apex bank’s monetary policies remains a conviction that we are committed to. We will not succumb to intimidation by any agency of Government.


“We have credible intelligence of plans by Kogites to protest against the EFCC for continually dragging the integrity of the state and its Governor in the mud.


“We however beseech our people to remain calm but steadfast. Rasheed Bawa, the EFCC Chairman, is not bigger than the law no matter his degree of contempt for the Courts and constitutionalism. We will triumph.


“We hereby call on the Inspector General of Police who has been served with the order of Court to immediately arrest Rasheed Bawa and commit him to prison as mandated by a competent court of jurisdiction.


“Allowing convicts to roam about the society portends a great danger to our judicial system. Rasheed Bawa cannot be allowed to continue to disobey Court Orders at will while also evading justice. Let justice be done.” 

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