Court Resumes Trial of Gov Yahaya Bello’s Wife, Nephew Over Alleged N3bn Money Laundering Charges
- The family of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state has been caught in a web of controversy
- Rashida Bello, the wife of the pragmatic governor and his nephew, Ali Bello, has both resumed trial for alleged money laundering
- According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the duo and two other accomplices are involved in a N3bn money laundering case
FCT, Abuja - The Federal High Court in Abuja has resumed the money laundering trial involving Rashida Bello, the wife of Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello and his nephew, Ali Bello.
As reported by Nigerian Tribune, the governor's nephew, Ali Bello was was one of the four defendants that the court remanded just after their arraignment on Wednesday, February 8.
The defendants are facing an 18-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.00.
Legit.ng gathered that other defendants include Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyada Sadat.
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According to the charges filed by the EFCC before the presiding judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu, the accused are said to have procured E- Traders International Limited to retain the aggregate sum of N3,081,804,654.00.
The charges further read:
"Ali Bello, Abba Adaudu, Rashida Bello (at large) sometime in November, 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330 to account number no; 426-6644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to with: criminal misappropriation, 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.
“That you, Ali Bello, Abba Adaudu, Rashida Bello (at large) between 26th July, 2021-6th April, 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to remove from the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court to account no. 426-664-4272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, the aggregate sum of $570,330 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit; criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) ( c ) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 ( 3 )of the same Act.”
Defendants plead not guilty to all 18-charges
However, the accused pleaded not guilty to all charges, after which the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), asked the court to stipulate a trial date for the defence to prove their not guilty status.
On the other hand, the defence counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), appealed to Justice Egwuatu for his client to be released on bail pending when the case hearing would commence.
Justice Egwuatu refused the plea and remanded the accused until the resumption of trial on Monday, February 13.
Powerful APC Northern Governor Orders Closure of Church, Arrests Pastor
In another development, a prayer house situated in Okene Kogi state has been sealed on the order of Governor Yahaya Bello.
It was gathered that the prayer house was involved in medical activities without a license from the state government.
Preliminary investigations also confirmed that the embattled pastor had no medical training.
Kogi Govt Under Attack Over Alleged Demand for N37.5m From PDP for Campaign Posters
Meanwhile, there was growing tension between the two main political parties in Kogi state in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
The Kogi state government recently issued an order urging candidates of the opposition party, PDP, to pay exorbitant rates to paste posters and billboards.
Challenging this decision, the PDP Kogi-Central Senatorial candidate, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, said it was a ploy to frustrate their campaign.