EFCC Charges Yaya Bello with N80bn Fraud, after leaving Office as Kogi Governor

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Yahaya Bello, immediate past Governor of Kogi State

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello with corruption, a few days after he completed his eight years tenure as Governor. He was charged with corruption involving diversion of over N80 billion.

Mr Bello recently handed over the seat of power of Kogi State to his successor, Usman Ododo, after eight years in office on 27 January and, days later, was charged by the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency did not bother to file a fresh case in court. It simply amended existing charges in which his nephew and an associate were accused of diverting Kogi State funds, to add the former governor as a co-defendant with some few additional counts.

The Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, in a statement condemning the charging of Mr Bello, said the case marked FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022 was already before Judge James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The case, until the latest amendment that brought in Mr Bello as a co-defendant, had his nephew, Ali Bello, and his associate, Dauda Suleiman, as the defendants on record.

Mr Bello in the amended case was accused of converting the total sum of N80.2 billion (N80,246,470,089.88) belonging to Kogi State Government to personal use. An alleged co-conspirator, Abdulsalami Hud (Kogi State Government House Cashier) was described as being at large. The other two are his co-defendants – Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman. Mr Fanwo, who served in the just-ended Bello administration, said the count ridiculously stated that the offence took place around September 2015 at a time Mr Bello had yet to assume office.He added the count indicated that Mr Bello, was “at large”.

He said this “is ridiculous, laughable and portrays the EFCC as an agency infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of Mr. President to defeat corruption in Nigeria.”

“Being ‘at large’ of course means that a person is evading arrest or is on the run and cannot be found after an attempt to arrest,” the statement stated.

“In the EFCC’s desperation to nail H.E Yahaya Bello, they forgot their thinking hammer at home.”

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