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EFCC names Yahaya Bello in about N100bn corruption charges against Kogi Chief of Staff



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has named a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, as a co-conspirator in an about 100bn corruption charges.

Bello’s name was mentioned during the re-arraignment of his nephew, Ali Bello, and a co-defendant for money laundering at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The anti-graft agency had amended the charges on 5 February, raising the number of counts from 10 to 17 against the younger Bello and his co-defendant, Dauda Suleiman. The trial started in 2022.

Alli Bello and Daudu Suleman pleaded not guilty to the 17 counts amended charge before Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Earlier, Alli Bello’s counsel, Abubakar Aliyu, objected to the reading of the amended charge on the ground that the anti-graft agency had failed to comply with Section 218 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

He said that a copy of the amended charge was never served on them but the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court to reject the arguments of the defendant, adding that the court had on its own endorsed the amendment.

Justice Omotoso noted that he had granted an accelerated hearing in the matter and had also ordered that all forms of objections must be kept in abeyance till the address stage and the charge were read to them.

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Meanwhile, Justice Omotoso has ordered that Alli Bello and Abubakar Suleman should continue to enjoy the bail conditions granted them in the previous charges.

In the first count, the former governor, and the two suspects were accused of conspiring with each other in September 2015 and converting N80, 246, 470, 089 to their personal use.

They were also alleged to have run foul of section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 because they ought to have reasonably known that the money was a product of fraud and criminal breach of public trust.

In other charges, the suspects were alleged to have concealed several millions of naira with one Rabiu Musa Tafada, a Bureau De Change (BDC) operator trading under Global Venture in Abuja.

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