N80.2bn Fraud: EFCC frowns at Yahaya Bello’s ‘escape’, insists due for arraignment today

The Commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17,  2024. The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle.

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N80.2bn Fraud: EFCC frowns at Yahaya Bello's 'escape', insists due for arraignment todayThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has decried the ‘escape’ of ex-Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello from arrest Wednesday and has promised to bring those who aided and abetted him to book.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a statement said the commission wishes to warn members of the public that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.
According to EFCC “Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.”
It said “This warning becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC. On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order. Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness.
“The Commission, therefore, warns that it will henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such will be met with appropriate punitive actions.”
Yahaya Bello to be arraigned today
The EFCC says that it will, on Thursday, April 18, 2024 arraign the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza  Bello before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. He will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).
This is EFCC said this in a statement released on its Twitter handle on Wdenesday night. The Commission said “Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 
“Count one of the charges reads: That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu (Still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction  of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight 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(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended”.
Count 17 of the charges reads: “That you Yahaya Bello between 26th July 2021 to 6th April 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable  Court aided E-Traders International Limited to conceal the aggregate sum of  N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million Eight Hundred and Four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) in account number 1451458080 domiciled in Access BankPlc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act.
Count 18 of the charges reads: “That you Yahaya Adoza Bello  sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court  indirectly procured E-Traders international Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330.00 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand , Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars) to account number 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America which sum you reasonably  ought to have known  forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act”.
The Commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17,  2024. The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle.
As a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18,  2024. It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.