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Alleged N80bln money laundering: EFCC arraigns ex-Kogi Gov. Yahaya Bello April 18

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, April 18.

The Head of Media and Publicity for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, confirmed this in a statement, hours after the commission laid siege to the former governor’s residence in Abuja in a bid to arrest him.

Bello will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246,470, 088.88, he said.

Bello’s arraignment followed a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by an Abuja high court on Wednesday, April 17.

The first count of the charges reads: ”That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu (still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80, 246,470, 088.88( Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended.

Count 17 states:“That you Yahaya Bello between 26th July 2021 to 6th April 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided E-Traders International Limited to conceal the aggregate sum of N3081,804,654.00( Three Billion, Eighty One Million Eight Hundred and Four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) in account number 1451458080 domiciled in Access BankPlc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act”.

Count 18:“That you Yahaya Adoza Bello sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly procured E-Traders international Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330.00( Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand , Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars) to account number 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act”.

The anti-graft said its attempt to execute the warrant of arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday.

“The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle.

“As a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18, 2024. It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible,” Oyewale said.

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