*Our former Senator’s doing well in ‘Nollywood’— Commissioner
By Dirisu Yakubu— ABUJA
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Thursday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State over “revelations of N3.7 billion money laundering by an anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Network”.
PDP also called on Governor Bello to speak up on allegations of shady deals including allegedly “using certain officials of the Kogi State government as well as private individuals and firms to siphon, launder and cart away billions of naira meant for the development of Kogi State.”
Kogi govt reacts
However, in swift reaction, Kogi State government said PDP was involved in its “usual comedy show”, adding that a particular former senator was doing well in the acting profession.
The government also stated that the rising profile of Governor Bello was intimidating and a threat to the opposition.
Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, who spoke for the state government, said: “It is one of their comedies.
“They just need to separate the reality in government from the Nollywood they have joined.
“Like everyone, we are seeing it as another comedy. Our former Senator is doing well in his industry.
“He just needs to tell EFCC that he was acting a fiction. That will complete the process.”
Asked if the allegations were politically motivated, Fanwo said: “Sure. The rising profile of the governor (Bello) is already a threat to the opposition. They felt they could slow him down.”
In a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, the party argued that the revelations by Anti-Corruption Network explain why the people of Kogi State have been impoverished and “why no concrete development has taken place since the emergence of Yahaya Bello as governor of the state”.
The statement read in part: “The APC poster boy should answer to revelations by the Anti-Corruption Network that he laundered over N3.7 billion in addition to billions of naira allegedly laundered through other individuals.
“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 the award of contract to ‘non-legal persons’ as well as ‘inactive companies’ with no transaction descriptions and due process certification.
“Also, Governor 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.
“It is indeed disheartening that such funds were monies meant for infrastructure 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.”