Alleged N80bn Money Laundering: EFCC Arraigns Yahaya Bello

0
35

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will today (Thursday, April 18, 2024) arraign a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Ozuma Bridge In Okene Constructed By Gov. Yahaya Bello Of Kogi State Collapses One Week After Construction

He 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 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).

A statement by EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, said Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

It added that the Commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

“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,” the anti-graft agency stated.

Count one 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 of the charges read: “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 of the charges reads: “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”.

“It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

READ ALSO: DNA: Court To Serve Mohbad’s Wife Via Substituted Means

Also late yesterday evening, EFCC said it will no longer tolerate obstruction of its operations.

Reacting to the obstruction, the Commission warned members of the public that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

“Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

“This one warning becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.

Yahaya Bello

It added that “on several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order. Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness.”

“The Commission, therefore, warns that it will henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such will be met with appropriate punitive actions.

It would be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday issued a warrant of arrest on the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

The warrant was issued by Justice Emeka Nwite, following an ex-parte motion brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on April 17, 2024.

In the motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024, the anti-graft agency prayed the court to serve Bello the charge and the proof evidence on the defendant through a substituted means.

READ ALSO: Court Stops EFCC From Arresting Ex-Kogi Gov Bello

The EFCC also sought an order seeking the immediate arrest of Bello for arraignment.

The EFCC’s reliefs partly read: “an order granting leave to the complainant/applicant to effect service of the charge together with the proof of evidence on the defendant by substituted means to wit; by pasting the charge at the last known address of the defendant within the jurisdiction of this honourable court being: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“An order directing and/or issuing an arrest warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.”

In his ruling on the motion Justice Emeka Nwite, ordered the immediate arrest of the former governor of Kogi State.

He also directed that the former governor be produced before him on Thursday April 18 for arraignment.

Nwite said, “It is hereby ordered as follows:

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant to bring him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned to the 18th day of April 2024 for arraignment,”.

Earlier on Wednesday, a High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi state, had restrained EFCC from arresting and infringing on the fundamental human rights of Bello.

efcc

Trending Video Of The Day;

Photo Credit: Getty

Leave a Reply