EFCC Raises Charges Against Yahaya Bello from N80 Billion to N100 Billion

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned Alli Bello, the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State, and Dauda Suleiman, on charges related to the alleged misappropriation of approximately N100 billion of state funds in September 2015. This period precedes Yahaya Bello’s tenure as Governor of Kogi State.

Facing a seventeen-count amended charge at the Federal High Court in Abuja, both Alli Bello and Dauda Suleiman entered pleas of not guilty before Justice James Omotoso. The defense, led by counsel Abubakar Aliyu, contested the presentation of the amended charge, claiming non-compliance with Section 218 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, specifically the failure to serve a copy of the amended charge to them. However, the prosecution, represented by Rotimi Oyedepo, argued for the court to proceed, noting the court’s endorsement of the amendment.

Justice Omotoso, emphasizing the court’s decision for an accelerated hearing and the deferral of all objections until the closing address, allowed the reading of the charges. Furthermore, he affirmed that Alli Bello and Dauda Suleman would remain on the previously established bail conditions.

The allegations include a conspiracy to divert N80,246,470,089 to personal use in September 2015, a violation flagged under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as the funds were identified as proceeds of fraud and breach of public trust. Additional charges involve the concealment of millions of naira in collusion with Rabiu Musa Tafada, a Bureau De Change operator, suggesting a complex network of financial mismanagement and illegal transactions.

In the first count charge, former Governor Bello, Alli Bello, and Dauda Suleman were accused of conspiring in September of 2015 and converting N80, 246, 470, 089 to their personal use.

They were also alleged to have contravened section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

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