EFCC arraigns Kogi officials, govt fumes

c yahaya bello.fw
c yahaya bello.fw

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, has remanded Ali Bello, a nephew to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and one Dauda Sulaiman in prison pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions, The PUNCH reports.

 They were remanded upon arraignment on Thursday alongside the cashier, Kogi State House Administration, Abdulsalami Hudu, (now at large) on a 10-count charge of misappropriation and money laundering.

The spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

 Uwujaren noted that Bello and Sulaiman allegedly fraudulently withdrew N10, 270,556,800 from the Kogi State treasury, which they were said to have delivered to a Bureau de Change operator, Rabiu Tafada, in Abuja to change to foreign currencies for personal gains.

 The EFCC spokesperson noted that they, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the anti-graft agency.

The judge admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N1bn each and two sureties who are to provide a bond of N2bn each and have a landed property valued at N500m and who must also produce an affidavit of means and evidence of tax clearance for at least three years.

 The judge thereafter sent the defendants to Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja, pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions and adjourned the matter till February 6, 2023, for a hearing.


 In its reaction, the Kogi State government accused the EFCC of a deliberate witchhunt of its officials by arraigning some persons whom they alleged were linked with laundering monies that belonged to the state government.

 The state Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said this in a statement issued on Thursday, adding that the EFCC accusations made against Bello and Sulaiman were a media trial that indicated desperation to tarnish the image of the Kogi State government.

 The statement read in part, “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.