Home / Lead Story / Yahaya Bello: EFCC talks tough, says it’ll no longer tolerate obstruction of its operations; Arraigns ex-Gov. Thursday, April 18

Yahaya Bello: EFCC talks tough, says it’ll no longer tolerate obstruction of its operations; Arraigns ex-Gov. Thursday, April 18

Mr. Yahaya Bello, ex-Kogi Governor

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has reacted to the obstruction of its officials from effecting the arrest of the former Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Adoza Bello from his Abuja residence on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

The operatives of the anti-corruption agency, who had gone to Bello’s residence to effect the orders of an Abuja Federal High Court for his arrest and production for arraignment on Thursday were allegedly prevented from carrying out their duties by some alleged thugs and sundry security operatives said to be attached to the incumbent governor of Kogi state, Usman Ododo.

Notwithstanding, the EFCC has given notice that the ex-Governor, who evaded their arrest will on Thursday (today), April 18, 2024 be arraigned 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).

Confusion was said to have ensured in an attempt to arrest the ex-Governor, with some gunshots said to have been fired, following which the suspect evaded arrest by being spirited out of his residence by the current governor in whose car he was reportedly whisked out of his (Bello’s) residence, leaving the EFCC officials literally helpless. 
The EFCC operatives could not stop or search the incumbent governor’s car, apparently because of the immunity that he currently enjoys as an incumbent chief executive officer of a state, as well as due to the chaos that resulted from the various armed persons masquerading as security officials attached tohim ( Ododo), some of who were said to have been dressed in unofficial uniforms.
  
Reacting shortly after the fiasco, the EFCC warned members of the public to be reminded “that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.”

In a statement by Dele Oyewale, its Head, Media & Publicity, the Commission stressed that “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.”

The agency said that the “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.”

It noted that “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.”

The EFCC, in its statement, also by Oyewale, on Bello’s arraignment, said it “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 read: “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 Bank Plc, 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 statement noted that “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.”


About Global Patriot Staff

Check Also

Anniversary: AFAN advocates measures to safeguard farmers, farmlands

By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom Umuahia, May 21, 2024 The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *