Home News Kogi governor whisks Yahaya Bello away following siege, says EFCC

Kogi governor whisks Yahaya Bello away following siege, says EFCC

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The immediate past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who has been under siege in the last 24 hours by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been whisked away from his Abuja residence by his successor, Governor Usman Ododo.

A top source in the EFCC confirmed this to Channels Television on Wednesday evening.

The EFCC had cordoned off the road and entrance to Bello’s residence in an attempt to have him arrested and arraigned for corruption charges on Thursday.

As the EFCC operatives surrounded the ex-governor’s residence, his successor Ododo arrived amid cheers from Bello’s supporters, who had gathered to support their embattled principal.

After a while, Ododo left the premises of his predecessor, with the anti-graft agency confirming that he took Bello along with him.

This development now puts in doubt the ex-governor’s expected arraignment on a 19-count charge before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja on Thursday.

Meanwhile, there was conflicting court order over the arrest of the former governor on Wednesday.

One of the rulings, which came from a Kogi High Court sitting in Lokoja, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining or prosecuting Bello.

Justice I. A. Jamil, who gave the order in a two-hour ruling on Wednesday, said that infringing on the fundamental human rights of the former Kogi is null and void except as authorised by the court.

“By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant except as authorised by the court.

“This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given”, he said.

The EFCC, however,  obtained permission from the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to arrest the ex-Kogi State governor in preparation to his arraignment on Thursday.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the warrant this afternoon at the instance of the EFCC.

Bello served as the governor of the North Central state from 27th January 2016 to 27th January 2024, when he handed over to his fellow All Progressives Congress member, Ododo.

Mid-March, the EFCC indicted Bello, in an alleged diversion of about N100 billion, an offence said to have been committed months before he assumed office as governor in September 2015.

The EFCC had joined Bello in the amended suit alongside the Chief of Staff to the state governor, Alli Bello, and one Daudu Suleiman, who was re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency before Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The ex-governor was not a defendant in the original suit, and was not in court on the said day.

Justice Omotoso 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.

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.

The Kogi State Government had swiftly faulted the anti-graft agency and described as a “witch-hunt”, the charges against the former governor.

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One Comment

  1. Akua Ajao

    18 April 2024 at 1:08 pm

    This is a good News

    Reply

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