By Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately commence investigation of allegations that Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello is involved money laundering to the tunes of billions of naira.
This is as the PDP also challenged Governor Bello to speak out on allegations of putrid deals made against him by the group. The party made its position known in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The party noted that the revelations by Anti-Corruption Network ostensibly explain why the people of Kogi state have been impoverished and why no concrete development has taken place since the emergence of Bello as governor of the state.
“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 contract to “non-legal persons” as well as “inactive companies” with no transaction descriptions and due process certification.
“The APC 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.
The party said it is 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 party also urges the EFCC to equally commence investigation on the activities of Governor Yahaya Bello as well as the books of his administration, with a view to prosecute him immediately he leaves office at the end of his tenure, if indicted.
“The PDP insists that nobody should be allowed to hide under the cover of immunity to get away with criminal pillaging of public resources entrusted into his or her hands.
“It 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.