ORTOM TO YAHAYA BELLO: Surrender, Answer Your Case

ORTOM TO BELLO: Surrender, Answer Your Case

Former Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has asked his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello, to come out of hiding and answer his case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Ortom stated this on Sunday at the Redeemed Church in Makurdi, Benue State during the thanksgiving service organised by his aides to mark his 63rd birthday anniversary.

He urged Mr Bello to come out from his hideout and defend his administration, adding that his continuous hiding was injurious to the reputation of former governors across the country.

The ex-Benue governor also urged his former appointees always to come forward and give an account of their stewardship when called upon, saying that they could only run when they had something to hide.

“I want to use this opportunity to advise my younger brother and friend, Governor Yahaya Bello, not to disgrace former governors. You don’t need to hide; you don’t need to resist arrest or anything. Go there and respond.

“EFCC are human beings. If they are making enquiries, the laws are there. I have tried to get him on the phone, but I could not; I have tried those around him, but I could not, so I want this to be noted.

“So wherever he is, if he can hear me, thank God the press are here, he should come out,” Mr Ortom said.

The former governor thanked the Benue people for their support throughout his eight-year tenure and for celebrating him on his birthday.

He said that being at the top for eight years was not an easy task and called on the people to always pray for their leaders.

Against the backdrop of arguments and counter-arguments on whether the EFCC has disobeyed a court order concerning the botched arrest of former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Bello, the Commission has denied disobeying any court order in this regard. 

In a recent press statement signed by the EFCC’s Acting Director, Public Affairs,  Mr Wilson Uwujaren,  the Commission clearly pointed out that though Bello sought refuge in a fundamental rights enforcement action through an order granted by  Justice Isa Jamil Abdulallahi of the Kogi State High Court,  the order does not vitiate or nullify an order made by the Federal High Court for  the arrest of the former governor for the purpose of his arraignment.

“The enrolled Order of the Kogi State High Court only granted an order to enforce Bello’s right to personal liberty and freedom of movement, it didn’t preclude the Federal High Court ‘to make any Order as it may deem just in the determination of the rights of the Applicant and the Respondent as may be submitted to her for consideration and determination”, he said.

He further stressed that, “The Order made by the Federal High Court for the arrest of Mr Yahaya Bello for the purpose of his arraignment is not in conflict with the Order of the Kogi State High Court. The case before the Federal High Court is a criminal charge which is different from the fundamental rights enforcement action that is the subject of an appeal”.

Uwujaren pointed out that the EFCC had a shining track record in the prosecution of politically exposed persons and would continue to exercise its mandate in the overall interest of the nation.  He admonished Bello to turn himself in and answer to the charges preferred against him by the Commission.

He called on all patriotic Nigerians to lend their voices in support of the Commission stressing that “the EFCC will not relent in its quest to wrestle corruption to the ground.”

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