Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Nigeria: Ododo Commits Criminal Offence By Shielding Bello From Arrest By EFCC – Itse Sagay

...Advises Bello To Surrender To EFCC To Avoid Humiliation

By Joseph Edegbo

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Professor Itse Sagay, has said Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State committed a criminal offence by shielding his predecessor, Yahaya Bello, from being arrested.

Sagay was the former chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) under Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

It would be recalled that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) laid siege around the former governor’s residence on Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

The EFCC is accusing Bello of financial misappropriation and corruption to the tune of N80.2 billion and accused the former governor of ignoring its invite and evading arrest.

Hours later, Ododo arrived at Bello’s residence and reportedly aided his predecessor’s escape from arrest by EFCC operatives.

Speaking with an Online platform, Sagay said Ododo abused the immunity privilege he enjoys by whisking Bello away and preventing his arrest by anti-graft officials.

The senior lawyer commended the EFCC officials for not physically engaging the governor’s security team in order to seize the former governor.

He said: “That was a clear abuse of immunity. The immunity provision is meant for him alone. He has no right to extend it to other people. What he did by aiding Yahaya Bello’s escape was illegal and unconstitutional.

“It is good the EFCC officials were restrained because they would have been justified in physically engaging the governor’s security team in order to seize Yahaya Bello from them.

“What the governor did was illegal. He was hiding a fugitive and that is a criminal offence. He is making himself an accessory after the fact.”

Sagay also advised Bello to honourably submit himself to the EFCC to avoid humiliation, saying that he would eventually be smoked out by the EFCC.

He added: “Whether his hands are clean or not, he should come out and report to the EFCC. If he doesn’t, they will still get to him.

“If he reports himself voluntarily, he will be treated with respect. They will interview him and if they see nothing serious enough to detain him, they will release him.

“If they have anything on him, they will give him administrative bail and he will go home to prepare for his defence. So, what he is doing now by hiding is that he is bringing down his own image and bringing himself down in public.

“He is creating a situation in which he may be humiliated unnecessarily. At the end of the day, they will still get him. So, I will advise him to surrender himself in a responsible manner so that his dignity could be kept intact.”

Source: The Cable News

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