Home » Ex-Governor Yahaya Bello Declared Wanted by Anti-graft Agency

Ex-Governor Yahaya Bello Declared Wanted by Anti-graft Agency

Nigerian Economic Crimes Commission Seeks Former Leader

by Victor Adetimilehin

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is embroiled in a dramatic standoff with Yahaya Bello, the immediate past governor of Kogi State. The EFCC declared Bello wanted on Thursday, April 18, 2024, for alleged financial crimes exceeding N80 billion.

Money Laundering Charges and Attempted Arrest

Bello faces a significant legal hurdle. The anti-corruption agency charged him with 19 counts related to money laundering. The alleged offenses involve a staggering sum – over N80 billion. The EFCC intended to arraign Bello before a Federal High Court in Abuja on the same day. However, what should have been a routine legal proceeding turned into a tense stand-off.

When EFCC operatives arrived at Bello’s Abuja residence to make the arrest, they encountered unexpected resistance. A group of armed men, identified as “Special Forces,” reportedly blocked the EFCC from apprehending Bello.  These unidentified armed men were joined by Nigerian police officers, further complicating the situation.

Current Governor’s Reported Intervention

The drama continued to unfold as media outlets in Nigeria reported that the current governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, intervened in the situation.  According to these reports,  Ododo’s team played a role in facilitating Bello’s departure from the residence. The EFCC’s arrest attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, leaving them with the task of locating Bello and bringing him before the court.

The EFCC has not abandoned its pursuit of Bello. The agency issued a public plea, urging anyone with information regarding Bello’s whereabouts to come forward. They are determined to ensure he faces the money laundering charges.

While the hunt for Bello continues, the legal proceedings in his case are moving forward. The EFCC will proceed with the arraignment of Bello’s co-defendants, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu.

Uncertainties and Calls for Transparency

The events surrounding Bello’s case have sparked a wave of reactions in Nigeria. Many citizens are questioning the reported intervention by the current governor and the presence of unidentified armed men. Calls for transparency and accountability are growing louder. The EFCC’s ability to effectively carry out its duties and ensure a fair trial is under scrutiny.

Source: Punch


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