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EFCC Did Not Conduct Itself Properly In Handling Yahaya Bello’s Case, Says Tietie

The EFCC is carrying on a malicious prosecution against Yahaya Bello, says lawyer Frank Tietie.

Lawyer and Executive Director of Citizens Advocacy For Social and Economic Rights (CESAR), Frank Tietie has said that the EFCC did not conduct itself properly in handling its case against the former governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello.

He said this while speaking in an interview with Arise News on Monday, encouraging Bello to utilise the legal avenues provided by the constitution to address the situation.

“What the EFCC is trying to do is to bring a contestation and a contest of force, abusing its force, having convinced itself that it has made mistakes in the way it has approached Yahaya Bello’s ordeal by filing false statements against him.

“The EFCC didn’t conduct itself properly. In that case, it’s important that Yahaya Bello will fully exhaust all of the remedies available to him in the constitution.”

Due to the concerns that the EFCC’s conduct has raised regarding professionalism and adherence to legal procedures, the lawyer advised that moving forward, it’s crucial for the EFCC to operate within the confines of the law and to recognize its role as a servant of the Nigerian state, not a tool of political agendas.

He emphasised the importance of the EFCC to uphold the rights of all individuals, including suspects and accused persons, and to conduct investigations and prosecutions impartially, without succumbing to political pressure or personal biases.

“The EFCC must understand that it works for the Nigerian state, though it’s under the control of the government. The EFCC and its officials must stop thinking that they possess a kind of force that is above the law. They shouldn’t conduct themselves with this air as if they are enemies of Yahaya Bello. You are an officer of the state and the state is also interested in anybody who is a suspect or an accused person.

“The overall goal of the administration of criminal justice act is to ensure that the rights of the suspects are protected. The EFCC must begin to position itself to obtain that kind of integrity by being civilised and then realising that it is first of under a civil authority and it can also engender confidence even among suspects and accused persons that it is out there to do justice and not there to do the bidding of political enemies or in this case, the political enemies of Yahaya Bello.

“The EFCC must learn that it is working for Nigerians. It is not against the person that it wants to convict. The goal of criminal prosecution is not necessarily to convict and to sentence. EFCC must operate as if it is working for the Nigerian state and not for the Nigerian government or for political enemies of Yahaya Bello.”

With regard to whether the court has been complicit in the situation involving the EFCC’s conduct and its interactions with Yahaya Bello, he said, “I do not hold the judiciary to be deficient here. What has become clear is that the EFCC is carrying on a malicious prosecution against Yahaya Bello.”

Melissa Enoch

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