he People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Kogi State Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello for alleged money laundering running into billions of naira of state funds.
The party’s call to the EFCC followed a squeal by a civil society organisation, the Anti-Corruption Network, accusing Governor Bello of squandering billions of naira in public funds.
In a statement on Thursday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party challenged the governor to speak out on the allegation.
The Anti-Corruption Network had alleged a series of financial dealings by the governor, including 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 said that the revelations by Anti-Corruption Network ostensibly explained why the people of Kogi state have been impoverished and why no concrete development has taken place since the governor assumed office in 2016.
The statement said: “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 contracts to non-legal persons as well as inactive companies with no transaction descriptions and due process certification.
“The APC (All Progressives Congress) 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 PDP also urged the EFCC to equally commence investigation on the activities of the governor as well as the account records of his administration, with a view to prosecuting him immediately he leaves office at the end of his tenure, if indicted.
The party said nobody should be allowed to hide under the cover of immunity to get away with criminal pillaging of public resources entrusted into their hands.
“It is 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”, the statement added.