Journalists, Lawyer Fault EFCC’s Action Against Yahaya Bello, Demand Respect for Rule of Law

Journalists, Lawyer Fault EFCC’s Action Against Yahaya Bello, Demand Respect for Rule of Law

In a heated discussion on the program “Journalists Hangout” on TVC on Friday, concerns were raised over the recent actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding the case involving former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello. The lead discussant, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju began by emphasizing that before taking any action, the EFCC must first address the court order restraining them from arresting, prosecuting, or detaining Bello.

The veteran journalists unanimously condemned the EFCC’s actions, insisting that court orders must be obeyed. They cited similar cases involving other politicians who have enjoyed court orders restraining the EFCC from taking action against them, including Bello Matawalle, Peter Odili, and Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari.

Addressing the situation, legal expert Liborous Oshoma criticized the EFCC’s approach, describing it as melodramatic. He highlighted a lawsuit filed by Bello against the EFCC at the Kogi High Court, which resulted in the restraining order. Oshoma condemned the EFCC for not taking Bello’s statement before attempting to arrest or charge him.

Oshoma, expressing his legal perspective, emphasized the unusual nature of the case, where charges are being pressed without a statement being taken. He criticized the EFCC’s haste and urged Bello to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion.

Regarding the restraining order and Bello’s refusal to surrender to the EFCC, Oshoma argued that the EFCC should appeal the order and obtain Bello’s statement before proceeding with charges. He asserted that Bello’s reliance on the court order was legally justified, as the EFCC lacks the authority to arrest him without vacating the restraining order.

In essence, the discussion highlighted the need for the EFCC to adhere to legal procedures and obtain necessary statements before pursuing charges against Bello, respecting the rule of law and due process.