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Edwin Clark: It’s Time For Yahaya Bello To Answer Questions, He Should Go To Court

Edwin Clark has alleged that Yahaya Bello is in power for the third time, not Kogi Governor Ododo.

The Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark, has said that former Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello should stop avoiding the law and go to court to answer the charges that have been laid against him.

The elder statesman said this on an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday while discussing Yahaya Bello’s case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) over charges of money laundering, while he also discussed his letter to the EFCC Chairman asking him to revisit the old cases of former Nigerian governors.

Clark, speaking on Bello’s case, said, “Yahaya Bello is just being stubborn, he knows where to go to. He has been living a very rough- having a rough government, corruption, killing of people in the place during elections and so on. There is time for everything, and it has come for him to answer questions. He should go to court. And these lawyers, some of them have nothing to do, they have now been hired to go to court to manipulate.

“It’s a simple thing, if the Chairman of EFCC has a case to answer, then, go to court, take him to court. This issue of court something, they have been taken against Inspector General of police and other people, ministers and so on. So, it’s not a new thing, they should go to court. But he should go to court to answer the substance of the case. Where did he get the money from? Is it true or no that the money he paid to the American School belonged to him or belonged to the government of Kogi State? These are the issues. So, whoever is saying that contempt of court, this and that, is talking rubbish. Let Yahaya go to court.

“And I will have to question- if a governor misuses his power, enjoying immunity to commit crime, to obstruct justice, I think the issue has to be called to question. The behaviour of the new governor- it’s Yahaya Bello in power for the third time, not Ododo. He’s just running after him. So this is what I want to say about Ododo, I’m pleading with him. He’s a nice, attractive young man, he should do the needful so that the youths in this country can have something to fall upon.”

Speaking on his request to the EFCC for the revival of trial of former Nigerian governors, Clark said, “The decision of the new Chairman of EFCC to revive or to revisit old pending cases for over 10 years, 2007- those who have been jailed for even 10 years or more have returned to Nigeria and they are living free life. These people have refused, using their position in Senate to adjourn cases, the judiciary has their role to answer to Nigerians why a case that has been in court for 10 years, 15 years, has not been tried. Why? Are they not being called? Some of them are ministers, mixed up with officials at the government parties. So, the same people who are standing trial are dining and wining with judges, Chief Justice of Nigeria, because they are free men.”

The elder statesman then, when asked what he thought was the reason for the non pursuance of these cases, said, “Because there is poverty in the country, unemployment, joblessness and every other thing, poverty, hunger, anything can go for anything. So, some of these governors who were nobody when they became governors have now joined the class of nobility. Today, there is no class called the middle class in Nigeria- you either have the top or the poor man at the bottom. So, what is happening, some of these governors have so much money to dish out to these boys and girls who don’t know that they are selling their rights.

“All we can do is to continue to educate our children. Elderly men like me should educate our children. There is future for them in Nigeria, not now. If they help the governors- some of them now, to perpetrate corruption in Nigeria, a dark day lies ahead. So, I do not think- some of these civil rights organisation, they should do what they call themselves and not to do the opposite.”

Clark then emphasised the need for the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General to grant EFCC autonomy to carry out its duties without interference.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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