Yahaya Bello: EFCC Officials and Kogi Youths Clash in Abuja

A protest by some Kogi youths at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission headquarters in Abuja, was on Monday disrupted by EFCC operatives who chased away the protesters.

The youths had gathered at the EFCC office in Jabi, Abuja, to protest the alleged persecution of ex-Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, but the EFCC officials dispersed them.

Bello had been declared wanted by the anti-graft agency for allegedly laundering N80.2 billion while in office.

Footage of the incident revealed that the protesters led by the Kogi Youth Coalition were addressing the media when the EFCC operatives chased them away from their headquarters.

Addressing journalists, the youths asserted Bello’s right to obtain restraining orders against alleged EFCC harassment.

The Head of the Kogi Youth Coalition, Otitoleke Richard, condemned the violence, affirming the right to express opinions in a democratic society.

Richard said, “We are here this morning at the headquarters of EFCC in Abuja, addressing a topical national issue that has to do with the rule of law, the defence of democratic governance in Nigeria.

We have been intimidated, we have been harassed. The EFCC is saying we do not have the right to express our opinion on national issues. We have been shot at. They have used their sticks to beat ordinary Nigerians that are harmless.

“We shall continue to air our opinion for democracy to thrive in Nigeria. Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. We are saying the rule of law must be applied in all corruption files. You cannot fight corruption with lawlessness. EFCC must obey the court order.”

In another video acquired by our correspondent, a large bus was extensively damaged, with the videographer lamenting, “It is unfortunate. The windscreen of this vehicle was broken. People were seriously beaten. The EFCC has taken away the driver of the car.”

On Friday, the Kogi State High Court in Lokoja ordered the EFCC chairperson, Ola Olukoyede, to appear before it on May 13 to show why he should not be jailed for allegedly disobeying its order.

The judge, I.A. Jamil, gave the order in a ruling in a suit marked, HCL/68M/2024, brought before him by former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.

Bello’s application initiating a contempt charge against the EFCC chair is part of the ex-governor’s efforts to stop his arraignment and trial on N80.2 billion money laundering charges instituted against him after he left office as governor in January.

In his application, Bello accused Olukoyede of committing contempt by allegedly violating the court’s order barring the EFCC from arresting him.

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