Some indigenes of Kogi State under the aegis of Kogi In Diaspora Association (KIDA), an umbrella group for Kogi citizens worldwide, have dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to international community demanding a stop to what they called “baseless harassment of the immediate-past Governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.”
A theoretical letter dated February 9, 2024, signed by the Co-Convener, Kogi In Diaspora Association, Hon. Seyi Olorunsola, was addressed to the United Nations Mission in Nigeria, the European Union Office in Nigeria, the Embassy of the United States of America, Abuja, the British High Commission, Abuja, the Canadian Embassy, Abuja, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of the French Republic and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.”
The open letter made available to newsmen Saturday in Abuja urged the diplomatic offices, representing the international community and international institutions, to use their influential channels to address the matter urgently.
According to the letter, in the past few days, former Governor Bello has faced a barrage of attacks from the EFCC, accusing him of an alleged N80 billion fraud committed four months before assuming office in 2015.
It reads: “I write to you as the Co-Convener of the Kogi In Diaspora Association, an umbrella group for Kogi citizens worldwide. Our organization is deeply concerned about the escalating threat to the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens, particularly exemplified by the recent actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The specific case at hand involves the unwarranted and baseless harassment of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, H.E. Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
“We find it incredulous that a person without access to the levers of governance authority could misappropriate such a substantial sum. Moreover, the EFCC’s claim in 2021, alleging Governor Bello laundered N20 billion of Kogi funds in a specific commercial bank, was refuted by the bank, and the case subsequently faded away.
“These sensational media trials not only tarnish the reputation of individuals like Governor Bello but also raise serious concerns about the misuse of power by the EFCC. It is disheartening to witness the agency engaging in a pattern of witch hunting without concrete evidence, undermining the principles of justice and fairness.
“We implore your esteemed diplomatic offices, representing the international community and international institutions, to use your influential channels to address this matter urgently. The abuse of power by the EFCC poses a significant threat to the freedom and rights of Nigerian citizens. We believe that your intervention can play a pivotal role in preventing further unjust harassment and ensuring due process for those targeted.
“As advocates for justice and human rights, we kindly request that you engage with the Nigerian authorities, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law and preventing any actions that violate the fundamental rights of citizens. Together, we can work towards fostering a fair and just society in Nigeria.”