Yahaya Bello: Don’t Obstruct EFCC From Performing Its Duty, Justice Minister Warns Politicians

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has cautioned public office holders to desist from impeding the officials of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from performing functions.

Fagbemi said the EFCC by the stipulation of the law can invite and investigate any Nigerian allegedly indicted with corruption, and such people involved should honour the agency in that regard.

The AGF made this known in a statement titled ‘EFCC SHOULD NOT BE OBSTRUCTED FROM PERFORMING ITS LAWFUL DUTY’ issued on Thursday, following the drama that happened at the residence of the immediate governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday.

Bello’s residence in Wuse Zone, Abuja was besieged by the anti-graft agency operatives on wednesday to effect his arrest, but his successor, Ahmed Usman Ododo, came in his convoy to whisk him away from their reach.

Reacting to the incident, Fagbemi stated, “The bizarre drama confronting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty has come to my notice (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) as a matter of very grave concern.

“It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status. Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting. A flight from the law does not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbates it.

“I state unequivocally that I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC and indeed any other agency to order when there is indication of any transgression of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies but I also tenaciously hold the view that institutions of State should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently.

“Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world.”

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