Sunday, June 26, 2022

Group backs call for EFCC, ICPC to probe Yahaya Bello

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A Kogi State-based socio-political group under the auspices of Progressives Mandate Movement, PMM, has expressed support for the call for an investigation into alleged financial mismanagement and corruption against Governor Yahaya Bello.

Recall that a former Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, had on behalf of Anti-Corruption Network, CAN, petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, over “financial recklessness, corruption, money laundering and fraudulent application of Kogi State’s resources” by the governor and his cronies.

The Senator had also joined Transparency International, US Ambassador to Nigeria and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria in the petition alleging that the governor had received over of N300 billion from the Federation Account in the last five years without “reasonable or tangible achievement” to show for it.

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Backing the call through a statement on Thursday in Lokoja, the PMM Chairman, Musa Enejo-Stephens, urged the EFCC to expedite action on the investigation into the alleged financial management.

According to him, “Yahaya Bello’s government has blindfolded the people of the State with series of lies since all this while on the allocation accrued to the State from Federation Account and as well mismanaged the huge resources accrued to the State which is against the spirit of openness, fairness, justice and accountability promised the people by All Progressives Congress APC led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari government.

“Governor Bello has plunged Kogi State into debt regime which the State may not recover from, in the next 10 years and Mr. Governor failed to give tangible explanations on how funds from the federation account like; State allocation, Local Government, Allocation, Paris Refund, Bailouts Funds and Internally Generated Revenue accrued to the State and other,” he added.

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Mr Enejo-Stephens, therefore, charged the newly appointed EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prove himself to Nigerians by commencing and expediting action by prosecuting those involved in the crimes detailed by the ACN petition.

He threatened that if the anti-graft agencies failed in their duty to act and do justice on behalf of Kogi people, the group would have no other option than to mobilise the people from the 21 local government areas of the State to the headquarters of the commission in Abuja and stage a protest.

He added that Kogi State is now the new ATM for political jobbers of all sorts, saying all manner of characters troop to the state in number to declare support for governor Bello’s “delusional ambition” to become president in 2023.

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He pointed out that presently, the state’s meagre resources were now being spent on Governor Bello’s presidential ambition on media advertorial including print media, electronics, outdoor billboards across the country even though it’s illegal to do such now as it contravenes the Electoral Act.

The PMM chairman commended the Minister of FCT Abuja and Kano State governor for ordering the removal of such billboards in their domains.

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