The Kogi State Government has vehemently rejected what it calls a desperate attempt by political adversaries to tarnish the reputation of the immediate past Governor, HE Yahaya Bello, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The state government accuses these individuals of manipulating the anti-corruption agency to pursue personal agendas.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information in Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, the amended charge against Yahaya Bello, accusing him of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015, months before assuming office, is laughable and undermines the noble intention of the President in the fight against corruption.
Fanwo points out the absurdity of the charge, highlighting that the election that brought Yahaya Bello to power occurred in November 2015, making it impossible for him to conspire to divert funds in September of the same year.
The state government challenges the credibility of the EFCC, emphasizing its commitment to transparency and accountability. It questions why Nigerians should trust an agency that makes such ridiculous and indefensible allegations, calling for the Chairman of the Commission to apologize to the nation.
Moreover, the Kogi State Government urges the President to intervene and protect the integrity of the EFCC from being dragged into political battles. The statement emphasizes the state’s commitment to supporting the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President and maintaining transparency in governance.
The Commissioner for Information recalls a previous incident in 2021 when the EFCC falsely claimed the discovery of over N20 billion of the state’s bailout fund, a claim later debunked by Sterling Bank. Fanwo asserts that recent events suggest a deviation from the genuine fight against corruption, turning the EFCC into a tool for political vendettas.
The statement concludes by reassuring the people of Kogi State to remain calm and law-abiding, expressing the government’s determination to defend its integrity and the interests of over 5 million Kogites.
Signed: Kingsley Femi Fanwo
Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications
6th February 2024