Yahaya Bello: Stop Obstructing EFCC’s Lawful Duty – Justice Minister Cautions Public Officials, Politicians

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BY EDMOND ODOK – The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has cautioned public office holders and politicians against making Nigeria a laughing stock by obstructing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from performing its lawful duties

He said the EFCC is empowered by the existing laws to invite and investigate any Nigerian allegedly indicted for corruption, and such persons should honour the agency’s invitation in that regard when the need arises.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, 18th April 2025 and titled ‘EFCC SHOULD NOT BE OBSTRUCTED FROM PERFORMING ITS LAWFUL DUTY’ the Justice Minister said; “The bizarre drama confronting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty has come to my notice (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) as a matter of very grave concern.”

Fagbemi was obviously reacting to the unfortunate event that played out at the Wuse Zone 4 residence of former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday, where Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, reportedly came in his convoy to ferry his predecessor away from EFCC’s reach, 

The statement further quoted him as saying thus; “It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status. Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officials who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting. A flight from the law does not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbates it.

“I state unequivocally that I stand for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC and indeed any other agency to order when there is indication of any transgression of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies but I also tenaciously hold the view that institutions of State should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently.

“Nigeria has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.”

“I therefore encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world”, the Statement cautioned.

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