Alleged N80.2bn fraud: EFCC uncovers Yahaya Bello’s plan to escape Nigeria

EFCC Yahaya Bello

Immigration put him on watchlist

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has uncovered the plan of ex-Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, to leave Nigeria for Morocco via Cameroun amid the N80.2 billion fraud allegation against him.

EFCC Yahaya Bello2

Recall that Bello, who is currently on the run, faces a 19-count charge, including allegations of money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of public funds amounting to about N80.2 billion. Despite denying the allegations, he has repeatedly failed to appear before Justice Emeka Nwite on scheduled dates.

On Thursday, June 27, the defendant failed to appear before the Federal High Court, stalling his scheduled arraignment for the fifth time.

He previously snubbed his court appearance before Justice Emeka Nwite on April 18, April 23, May 10 and June 13. Rather than appear in court, Bello sent his lawyers to request the transfer of the case to the court’s division in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

Meanwhile, ahead of his July 17 expected appearance before a Federal High Court in Abuja, former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello has been placed on a watchlist in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

The EFCC asked INTERPOL in the North African nations to place the ex-governor on its watchlist.

“We are aware of a botched exit to Morocco via Cameroon. We are determined to stop him from going on exile. From Singapore, the EFCC Executive Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede was in Tunisia where he delivered a paper at a session on illicit financial flows. Thereafter, he had a meeting with all the Heads of INTERPOL in North Africa on the intelligence on the ex-governor.

“He formally asked INTERPOL to place Bello on ‘Red Alert” in all North African countries and it was accepted,” the paper quoted an unnamed EFCC source as saying.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has put the immediate past Governor on its watchlist to prevent him from leaving the country.

This is as the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has also withdrawn all police officers attached to the embattled former Governor of Kogi State.

In a circular dated April 18, 2024, and signed by Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, DS Umar, for the Comptroller-General, Kemi Nandap, the NIS alerted the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to effect the former governor’s arrest.

The EFCC had earlier declared Bello as ‘wanted’ in connection to an alleged case of money laundering to the tune of N80.2bn. After a failed attempt to arrest the former Kogi State governor, the EFCC declared him ‘wanted’ on its official Facebook page.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has also described as “insufferably disquieting”, the obstruction to the arrest of the former Kogi State Governor by his successor, Usman Ododo.

The circular, copies of which were sent to the DSS and the Police, contained the name, nationality, and passport number of the former Governor (B50083321).

Related news

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.