EFCC Disrupts Protest by Kogi Youths, Amid Alleged Persecution of Ex-Governor Yahaya Bello

A protest staged by Kogi youths at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) headquarters in Abuja was abruptly disrupted by EFCC operatives on Monday. The youths, gathered to voice their grievances against the alleged persecution of ex-Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, were dispersed by the EFCC officials.

Led by the Kogi Youth Coalition, the protesters had assembled to express their concerns regarding Bello’s treatment by the anti-graft agency, particularly amidst allegations of laundering N80.2 billion while in office. However, footage of the incident captured EFCC operatives chasing away the protesters as they addressed the media outside the EFCC office in Jabi, Abuja.

Speaking to journalists, Otitoleke Richard, the Head of the Kogi Youth Coalition, condemned the violence and emphasized the importance of upholding democratic principles. He asserted the protesters’ right to express their opinions and criticized the EFCC’s alleged intimidation tactics, stating, “Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. We are saying the rule of law must be applied in all corruption files.”

In a separate video, extensive damage to a large bus was observed, with reports of individuals being beaten and detained by the EFCC operatives. This incident adds to the growing tension surrounding Bello’s legal battles with the EFCC, culminating in a recent court order demanding the appearance of EFCC chairperson, Ola Olukoyede, to address allegations of disobedience to court orders.

The court order, issued by Judge I.A. Jamil of the Kogi State High Court, follows Bello’s application for contempt charges against Olukoyede, alleging the EFCC’s violation of a previous court order prohibiting his arrest. Bello’s legal maneuvers reflect ongoing efforts to halt his arraignment and trial on money laundering charges, signaling a contentious legal battle between the former governor and the anti-corruption agency.

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