Kogi Youths and Women Stand in Solidarity with Yahaya Bello as Trial Resumes

Yahaya Bello

At resumed trial of immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alh Yahaya Bello thousands of Kogi Youth and Women stormed Federal High Court in Abuja in solidarity with him over his ongoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under Justice Nwite for charges bordering on alleged misappropriation of 80.2bn and other charges filed against former Governor Yahaya Bello which allegedly occurred during his stay as Governor of Kogi state.

The Youths who came in thousands occupied the entire parking lots beside the Federal High Court singing songs of support and solidarity. They insisted that Yahaya Bello raised bar of leadership and brought development to the state. They argued that the charges against the former governor were trumped up politically induced persecution intended to bring down the rising political profile of the former Governor.

Speaking on behalf of the supporters, Alewo Idakwoji, Secretary General, Kogi Youth Leaders Forum says it is shameful for an institution like EFCC to make charges and claims that are not correct and are far from truth. He argued that it is unthinkable for EFCC to accuse Bello of stealing 80.2bn in February 2016 when the entire federal allocation to the state was less than 40bn and entire budget of the state in same year was less than 70bn. Mr Idakwoji says it is also an unpardonable error for EFCC to earlier claim that Bello stole money in August or September 2015 when he was actually sworn in January 2016. He said the commission clearly showed it was not prepared for the case when they amended charges and dates as if it was in a haste to persecute.

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Mr Alewo Idakwoji says Yahaya Bello made Kogi people proud with his sterling performance as Governor and received several awards in transparency and accountability including that of world bank. He said Yahaya Bello is only an intimidation to politicians who are bad losers.

At the court session, the former Governor who was absent in court however requested through a letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for a transfer of his prosecution to Kogi court since the alleged accusations took place in Kogi state. Through his counsel, he prayed the court to await the decision of the Chief Judge in order for the matter to continue uninterruptedly, a development the EFCC’s counsel staunchly opposed.

The trial judge have adjourned the matter till 17th July, 2024 for ruling on request by EFCC lawyer to pronounce sanctions on Bello’s counsel for failure to produce him in court

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