EFCC lists Yahaya Bello in amended N100bn corruption charges

Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday listed former governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello in the amended corruption charges filed against Alli Bello and Daudu Suleiman.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the suspects diverted about N100 billion belonging to the state government in September 2015, months before Bello assumed office.

Ex-governor Bello was not a defendant in the original suit, and was not in court.

However, Alli and Suleman pleaded not guilty to the 17-count amended charge before Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Earlier, Alli’s counsel, Abubakar Aliyu objected to the reading of the amended charge on the ground that the anti-graft agency failed to comply with Section 218 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

He said that a copy of the amended charge was never served on them, but the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court to reject the arguments of the defendant, adding that the court had on its own endorsed the amendment.

EFCC charges Yahaya Bello with money laundering

Justice James Omotoso noted that he granted an accelerated hearing in the matter and also ordered that all forms of objections must be kept in abeyance till the address stage and the charges were read to them.

Justice Omotoso ordered that Alli and Suleman should continue to enjoy the bail conditions granted them in the previous charges.

In the first count, former governor Bello, Alli and Suleman were accused of conspiring with each other in September 2015 and converting N80, 246, 470, 089 to their personal use.

They were also alleged to have run foul of section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 because they ought to have reasonably known that the money was a product of fraud and criminal breach of public trust.

In other charges, Alli and Suleman were alleged to have concealed several millions of naira with one Rabiu Tafada, a bureau de change (BDC) operator trading under Global Venture in Abuja.

The case was adjourned until March 20 and March 21 for trial continuation.