Nigeria’s major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, over allegation of money laundering running into billions of naira, using state government officials and private individuals as a conduit.
PDP’s challenge was contained in a statement issued on Thursday and titled “Money Laundering: Go After Yahaya Bello Now, PDP Tells EFCC.”
“The PDP charges the EFCC to immediately commence investigation on Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, over revelations of billions of naira money laundering by an anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Network,” the party said.
“This is as the PDP also calls on Governor Bello to speak out on allegations of putrid deals including allegedly using certain officials of the Kogi state government as well as private individuals and firms to siphon, launder and cart away billions of naira meant for the development of Kogi state.
“The PDP asserts that the revelations by Anti-Corruption Network ostensibly explain why the people of Kogi state have been impoverished and why no concrete development has taken place since the emergence of Yahaya Bello as governor of the state.
“Governor Yahaya Bello is demanded to provide answers to revelations made by the anti-graft body, which is in the public domain, that he has been laundering billions of naira in several tranches through award of contract to “non-legal persons” as well as “inactive companies” with no transaction descriptions and due process certification.
“The APC poster boy should answer to revelations by the Anti-Corruption Network that he laundered over N3.7 billion through one Abdulsalami Hudu; in addition to billions of naira allegedly laundered through other individuals including certain, Umar Comfort, Jimoh Aminu, Philip Salau, Bello Ibrahim among others.
“Also, Gov Yahaya Bello should answer to allegations by the Anti-Corruption Network that he siphoned billions of naira through award of contracts, without due process, to Southbridge Integrated Services Limited to the tune of N624 million, in addition to five other companies which allegedly got between N22 million N129 million respectively.
“It is indeed disheartening that such funds were monies meant for infrastructural development, provision of healthcare, education facilities, road construction, payment of salaries and pension and other benefits, which have been deprived the people since the inception of the Bello administration.
“Against this background, our party calls on the EFCC, under its new leadership, to immediately commence investigation by inviting all those mentioned in the report as well as prosecute any individual or company indicted in the matter.
“The party also urges the EFCC to equally commence investigation on the activities of Governor Yahaya Bello as well as the books of his administration, with a view to prosecute him immediately he leaves office at the end of his tenure if indicted.
“The PDP insists that nobody should be allowed to hide under the cover of immunity to get away with criminal pillaging of public resources entrusted into his or her hands.
“It also instructive to state that the immunity clause, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), does not prohibit the investigation of a sitting governor or the prosecution of his aides, officials or cronies, who were used to steal public funds.”