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Clark Urges EFCC to Reopen Stalled High-Profile Cases

Clark Urges EFCC to Reopen Stalled High-Profile Cases

Chief Edwin Clark, the Ijaw leader, has called on Ola Olukoyede, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to revisit all high-profile cases that have been left unresolved in court.

Clark commended the EFCC boss for his handling of the Yahaya Bello case, former Governor of Kogi State, stating that Olukoyede has gained even more respect for his work.

In a letter addressed to Olukoyede titled “Re: The Revival of All Abandoned High-Profile Corrupt Cases Against Politicians by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” Clark encouraged the anti-corruption chief to remain steadfast in the face of any criticisms directed at him.

He wrote: “Mr Chairman, I am prompted to address this letter to you after seeing you on the television courageously and forthrightly speaking on behalf of your commission (EFCC) on the former Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Yahaya Bello’s case which is already pending in the Federal High Court Abuja and as usual, some unpatriotic and misguided Nigerians have criticized you, branding your appearance on the television as media propaganda. I totally disagree with them and you are on the right path.

“I sincerely appeal to my handsome and attractive son, Yahaya Bello to surrender himself to the court with dignity and stop engaging in pursuing procedural issues which some Nigerian lawyers are manipulating in the media.

“The offence allegedly committed by him is bailable.

“The real issue is that Yahaya Bello paid some amount of money to the American School, which was paid with the Kogi State Government’s fund, to the sum of $845,852.

” It is also true that the American School has refunded $760,910 to the EFCC which demanded for it.

“It must be noted that the issue of bench warrant has always been an instrument used by Nigerian Courts to draw the attention of high profile Government officials that no one is above the law. It is not new by the court and Yahaya Bello’s case should not be treated differently.

“At this juncture, Nigerians should ask themselves if corruption is a monster that must be defeated ?

“Otherwise we are in big trouble. As our Former President, Muhammadu Buhari use to say, “If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us”. Again, I appeal to the Nigerian public to support the new Chairman of EFCC in his crusade against corruption.

“Secondly, I wish to congratulate you wholeheartedly on your appointment as the new Executive Chairman of EFCC whereby you have taken over effectively from the past Chairman Abdul Rasheed Bawa.

“I hope you will definitely perform your duties effectively, impeccably, fair and just and without any discrimination, political victimization or witch-hunting of political opponents and have the courage and ability to confront the so called sacred cows in our society.

“The level of corruption in the public service and even in private business has reached such an alarming scale. It has become a recognised way of our daily lives. While the Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Directors in a Ministry carry out corruption and abuse of office at a large scale at higher level, the lower ranks in the Ministry even including the clerks and messengers are also involved in minor ways of corruption by hiding files and documents and asking for money before releasing them.

“A new trend has now increased the temple of corruption. It is ridiculous to say that some of the officers and assistants have increased the level of corruption in the public service. Some of those in the Presidency, Ministers offices, President of the Senate and so on demand money particularly in Dollars before allowing you to see their principals.

“Corruption and abuse of office which unfortunately has become our way of life can only be reduced if there is political will on the part of the Government to prosecute all those found corrupt as emergency cases and given accelerated hearing or the Federal Government should create a special court for a period of time to treat high profile corrupt cases and not to allow such corrupt cases to be announced over the media and no further action taken.”

He further added that “Some of the former Governors who were charged to court in the past ten years never went back to court to list most of these cases for trial. What type of society do we belong to in this country?

“However, I deeply appreciate your courage and will power in reviving these high profile corrupt cases involving former Governors, some of whom are in the Senate shamelessly parading themselves as innocent citizens while some of them are today serving as Ministers in the present Administration. It is therefore with great pleasure I read with satisfaction your recent release wildly published in the internet and some newspapers particularly in Sunday Punch of 14th January 2024 at page 3.

“You spoke the mind of all patriotic Nigerians who seriously believe in the eradication of corrupt practices in our body polity.

“You revealed the names of these unpatriotic culprits who embezzled the sum of about ₦772 Billion, enough to rejuvenate our ailing economy.

“I join other Nigerians in supporting you to carryout with rapidity to complete the investigations of these cases and to expedite the trial of all those charged to court since 2007; who are not only in the Senate and Government dining and wining with Mr President but are also living lavishly at the expense of volatile and vulnerable Nigerians.

“I also wish to advise you that all former Governors who served the country and some of who looted their state treasury as it is alleged in Yahaya Bello’s case should be investigated by your commission with rapidity to enable Mr President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to carry out his anti-corruption crusade.

“Finally, I pray the almighty God give you strength, courage, determination, ability and wisdom to carryout this very important national assignment to eradicate corruption in our society.”

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