The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has narrated an encounter he had with the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, over a probe by the agency.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the anti-graft czar said he decided to speak personally with Bello to honour him as a former governor.

He said Bello initially gave the excuse that one of his political opponents had sent pressmen to the commission’s head office so as to embarrass him when he arrived there.

According to Olukoyede, when he gave Bello the option of using an entrance that is exclusively meant for him as chairman, the narrative changed.

“I didn’t initiate the case against Yahaya Bello; when I assumed office, I inherited the case file and I said there are issues here. Do you know that on my own, on my honour, I put a call across to him, which I am not supposed to ordinarily do. Just to honour him a serving governor. I said, ‘Sir, there are issues. I have seen this case file, Can you just come to clarify these issues?’ And he said, I thank you my brother, but you see I can’t come. There’s one lady, a senator, who has surrounded EFCC with over 100 journalists to embarrass him.

“I said ok if that’s the case, I would pass you through my gate and you will be interrogated on my floor. I will invite the interrogators to my office to interview with you. What could be more honourable than that? ‘But do you know what he said?’ He said, can’t they come to my village? Imagine that’s what he told me.”

Narrating what happened on the day EFCC officials laid siege to Bello’s house in Wuse, Zone 4, Abuja, the anti-graft Czar said, “As early as 7 am, my men were there. Over 50 of them. They mounted surveillance. We met over 30 armed policemen there. We would have exchanged fire and there would have been casualties. My men were about to move in when the governor of Kogi drove in and they later changed the narrative.”

In another development, Ola Olukoyede, the EFCC chair explained why operatives of the agency did not force their way into the house of the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

“We met over 30 armed policemen and 10 Counter Terrorist Unit personnel with Yahaya Bello. I went with my gallant men, over 50 of them. We would have exchanged fire, and there would have been casualties,” the EFCC boss said.

Olukoyede gave his explanation during a press briefing on Tuesday, days after the former governor was declared wanted.

Bello has been in hiding following a failed attempt by the anti-graft agency to arrest him at his Abuja residence last week.

The former Kogi State governor was said to have been whisked away by the current governor of the state, Ahmed Ododo.

He has since been on the watch list of security agencies in the country.