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EFCC lay siege on Yahaya Bello’s Abuja home

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Former governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello could be on the verge of being arrested as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly barricaded his Abuja home.

There is currently no movement in and around the house located at Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4 in the federal capital territory.

A source familiar with the development said the operatives of the anti-graft agency have blocked the access road to Mr Bello’s home.

The source said, “EFCC barricades Bello’ house in Abuja. No movement in the area as EFCC barricaded the house. They are yet to gain access.”

Meanwhile, there was no immediate information available as to why the commission invaded the former governor’s residence.

But some sources are saying it may be connected with the N84 billion fraud case against him which the EFCC is prosecuting.

The EFCC had charged Yahaya Bello with financial fraud to the tune of N84 billion.

The commission in an amended charge, accused Bello of diverting N80 billion of state funds in September 2015, four months before he assumed office.

Recall that the EFCC had arraigned Bello’s nephew, Ali Bello, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, for alleged money laundering to the tune of N10 billion belonging to the State government.

The State Government faulted the charge describing it as “ridiculous” and “laughable”, argued that it is impossible, as the former governor was not yet in a position to access or misappropriate state funds at said time.

The state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, had on February 7, 2024, accused the EFCC of being “infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of ‘Mr. President’ to defeat corruption in Nigeria.”

Recall that the EFCC had dragged former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello before Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja for alleged N84 billion money laundering.

EFCC, which joined Bello’s nephew Ali Bello, Dauda Sulaiman and Abdulsalam Hudu as co-accused, had said it is prosecuting them on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of fund to tune of N84, 062,406,089.88.

The anti-graft agency had claimed in the amended charge that former governor Bello is still at large.

Count one of the charges reads, “That you, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman, Yahaya Adoza Bello (still at large) and Abdulsalam Hudu (still at large), sometime in September, 2015 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty-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(b) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended,” the EFCC said.

“While ex-Governor Yahaya Bello and Hudu are still at large, Ali Bello and Suleiman, first and second defendants respectively, who were present in court “pleaded not guilty” to all the charges when they were read to them.

 

 

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