EFCC Establishes N80bn Case Against Yahaya Bello, Says He’s On The Run

by J.J Olawuyi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly established a criminal case against the former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who is currently evading arrest.

According to sources, Yahaya Bello has been concealing himself within the government house since his tenure ended, with the EFCC closely monitoring his movements and planning to apprehend him soon.

In response to these developments, the Kogi State Government, on Tuesday, dismissed the EFCC’s accusations of Bello’s involvement in an alleged N80 billion fraud as unfounded and amusing. The state criticized the EFCC’s decision to amend an existing charge, FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, aimed at prosecuting Bello, who vacated office on January 27.

Through a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, the government accused the EFCC of conspiring with “criminals posing as politicians” to defame Bello, suggesting that such actions detract from the EFCC’s integrity and its mission to combat corruption in Nigeria.

The statement clarified that the original charge pertains to Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman, with the alleged offense involving a conspiracy to misappropriate a total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 around September 2015 in Abuja. The EFCC’s document names Abdulsalami Hudu (Kogi State Government House Cashier) also as a conspirator, who, like Yahaya Bello, is currently at large.

The government further argued the implausibility of the charges, noting that the election that brought Yahaya Bello to power as the Governor of Kogi occurred in November 2015, and he officially took office on January 27, 2016, succeeding Captain Idris Wada of the PDP. Therefore, it posits that Bello could not have been involved in the alleged financial misconduct in September 2015, as he had no financial interactions with the Kogi State Government prior to his governorship that would allow for such actions.

This defense highlights the chronological inconsistencies in the EFCC’s allegations and emphasizes Bello’s lack of financial dealings with the state government before his tenure as governor.

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