EFCC charges former APC governor Yahaya Bello with N80bn fraud, Kogi govt reacts

EFCC charges former APC governor Yahaya Bello with N80bn fraud, Kogi govt reacts

  • The ex-governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has been placed on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) radar
  • Following his exit from office after two tenures, the anti-graft agency rolled out corruption charges against the former governor
  • In response to these charges, the Kogi state government described the allegations against the ex-governor as laughable

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

FCT, Abuja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has brought corruption charges against former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello shortly after the conclusion of his tenure and the removal of his legal immunity.

Bello, who served for eight years, handed over power to his successor, Usman Ododo, on January 27th.

The Kogi state government has described the allegations of the EFCC against Yahaya Bello as laughable
The EFCC has begun to file corruption charges against the ex-governor, who left office in less than a month. Photo Credit: Alhaji Yahaya Bello/EFCC
Source: Facebook

According to Premium Times, the EFCC amended existing charges against Bello's nephew and an associate, accusing them of misappropriating state funds, to include the former governor as a co-defendant with additional counts.

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Kogi state slams EFCC

Kingsley Fanwo, the Commissioner for Information in Kogi State, issued a statement condemning the charges against Mr Bello, stating that the case, identified as FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022, was already before Judge James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Initially, the case involved Mr. Bello's nephew, Ali Bello, and his associate, Dauda Suleiman, as defendants. However, Mr. Bello was recently added as a co-defendant.

The amended case alleges that Mr Bello misappropriated N80.2 billion belonging to the Kogi State Government for personal use.

One alleged co-conspirator, Abdulsalami Hud, described as a Kogi State Government House Cashier, is currently evading authorities.

Mr Fanwo, who served in the previous Bello administration, pointed out that the charges claim the offence occurred in September 2015, before Mr Bello took office, and that Mr Bello is currently "at large", according to the count.

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As quoted by Punch, he said:

"This was not only laughable but portrayed 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.
“In the EFCC’s desperation to nail H.E Yahaya Bello, they forgot their thinking hammer at home.”

Yahaya Bello responds to reports of interest in APC chairmanship seat

In another report, Yahaya Bello denied running for the office of national chairman of the ruling APC.

Bello denied authorising anybody to circulate any posters on his behalf, claiming he is a loyal party man committed to Abdullahi Umar Ganduje's leadership as national chairman.

Legit.ng reports that the former governor said claims of him running for the office of APC national chairman should be disregarded.

Source: Legit.ng

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