Home News Yahaya Bello’s Nephew, Ali Bello, Sent to Jail over Alleged N10bn Fraud,...

Yahaya Bello’s Nephew, Ali Bello, Sent to Jail over Alleged N10bn Fraud, Kogi State Govt Reacts

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 Ali Bello
Ali Bello

By Uche Amunike

Nephew to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, alongside his alleged accomplice, Dauda Sulaiman are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) at the Federal High Court, (FHC) Maitama, Abuja, where they have been sent to prison, till they have met with their bail conditions.

The governor’s nephew, Ali Bello and his accomplice were remanded by Justice James Kolawole Omotosho, alongside a cashier at the Kogi State House, Abdulsalami Hudu, who is presently still at large.

 

All three defendants face a 10 count charge of misappropriation and money laundering committed between the months of  January and December 2021. Yahaya Bello’s nephew and Sulaiman were accused of withdrawing the sum of N10,270,556,800 billion from the state treasury and delivering it to Bureau de Change Operator, Rabiu Tafada, to help them change it to foreign currencies.

The alleged offence goes against sections 18(c), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Prohibition Act.

All defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges, after which the Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) requested that the court fixed a date for commencing the trial. 

On his part, the Counsel to the second and third defendants, Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN) informed the court of his application to be granted bail. 

Justice Omotosho admitted them with the following bail conditions: N1 billion each and two sureties who will provide a bond of N2 billion each and must possess landed property worth N500 million. All properties are to be registered with the court, while the sureties are to submit bank statements, international passports, evidence of tax clearance for 3 years and an affidavit of means.

The defendants are however, to remain at the Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja till their bail conditions are met. The case is scheduled to resume on February 6, 2023.

In reaction, the Kogi state government has said that the EFCC was merely witch-hunting its officials by arraigning people whom they claimed were linked with laundering money belonging to the state government.

 

Speaking, through a statement issued on Thursday by the Kogi State Commissioner for information, Kingsley Fanwo, he said that the EFCC accusation made against Yahaya Bello’s nephew and Suleiman was simply a Media trial that showed how desperate they were about tarnishing the image of the Kogi State government.

The statement partly read: ‘It would be recalled that this same EFCC once accused the Kogi State government of stashing N20bn bailout funds in a fixed deposit account in Sterling Bank. When the legal fireworks were about to ruffle their biased feathers, they quickly backed out and claimed the money had been returned to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

To date, they have not shown Nigerians any proof of the return even when Sterling Bank Plc has under oath denied the return of any monies belonging to the Kogi State Government.

 

 

 

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