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EFCC vs Yahaya Bello: Former Kogi governor disappears again



EFCC vs Yahaya Bello: Former Kogi governor disappears again

Former Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has once again failed to appear at the Federal High Court in Abuja for his scheduled arraignment on corruption charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Despite assurances from his legal team, led by Abdulwahab Mohammed, that Bello would attend the court session, he was absent on the day of the hearing.

This commitment was made to Justice Emeka Nwite on May 10, following the court’s rejection of a request to suspend the trial. Bello’s counsel insisted that the former governor was not avoiding arraignment but was concerned about his safety in the hands of the EFCC in Abuja.

The latest court session, held on Thursday, saw Bello’s continued absence, prompting Justice Emeka Nwite to adjourn the case to June 27, 2024, for arraignment.

The EFCC has filed 19 criminal counts against Bello, primarily focusing on criminal breach of trust and money laundering. The charges, registered under case number FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 and dated March 9, 2024, name Yahaya Adoza Bello as the sole defendant, with the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the complainant.

According to charge documents obtained by SaharaReporters, the EFCC accuses Bello of converting N80,246,470,089.88, belonging to the Kogi State government, for personal use in February 2016. This alleged act is in violation of Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended.

Furthermore, Bello is accused of using intermediaries, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman, and Abdulsalam Hudu, to launder N950 million for the acquisition of a property at No. 35 Danube Street, Maitama District, Abuja, identified as proceeds of crime.