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80bn Naira Fraud: Nigeria Police arrest, detain ex-governor’s ADC, others



The Nigeria Police Force has detained a female police officer who was the aide-de-camp (ADC) to embattled former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

The ADC was arrested alongside other police officers attached to 48-year-old Bello, and is being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Their arrests and detention followed a Thursday night order by the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, directing their immediate withdrawal from the former governor.

Senior police sources, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity because they did not have authorisation to comment publicly on the matter, noted that the officers were arrested on the suspicion that they aided and abetted Bello’s escape from operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who had gone to effect his arrest at his Abuja home on Wednesday.

“The ADC and the other police details attached to Yahaya Bello have been arrested and detained.

“They were arrested on the order of the IG, on the suspicion that they aided and abetted the former governor’s escape from the EFCC on Wednesday,” one of the sources told our correspondent in a telephone conversation on Friday.

Another source said, “Yahaya Bello’s female ADC and other police officers attached to him were brought to the command this morning, and they’ve been detained for aiding and abetting (the governor’s escape).”

Egbetokun had, on Thursday night, ordered the withdrawal of all police officers attached to Bello.

The order for the withdrawal was contained in a police wireless message sighted by our correspondent on Friday morning.


“DOPS ABUJA X BEGINS X CB:4001/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.21/462 DTO:180955/04/2024 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X REF MYLET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/36 DATED 15/04/2024 X AND MY EARLIER LET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/30 DATED 24/01/2024 X Nigeria police have ordered the withdrawal of all men.

“Police attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, should acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance. Please above for your information and strict compliance.”

Also, the Federal Government had on Thursday night placed Bello on a watch list.

In a document exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Thursday night, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, revealed that Bello was placed on a watchlist for conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering.

The Assistant Comptroller General signed the document and copied the Nigeria Customs Service, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services, and the Director of the National Internet Agency.

The document read, “I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on a watch list. Suffice to mention that the subject is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court Abuja for Conspiracy, Breach of Trust and Money Laundering vide letter Ref; CR; 3000/EFCC/LS/EGCS.1/TE/V 1/279 dated April 18, 2024.

“If seen at any entry or exit point, he should be arrested and referred to the Director of Investigation, or contact 08036226329/07039617304 for further action.

“Please, accept as always the Comptroller-General’s warmest regards and esteem.”

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier declared Bello wanted for laundering the sum of N80,246,470,088.88.

The development was contained in a notice posted on the commission’s official Facebook page on Thursday, with a snapshot of the embattled ex-governor attached.

The notice read, “The public is hereby notified that Yahaya Adoza Bello (former Governor of Kogi State), whose photograph appears above is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with an alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).

“Bello, a 48-year-old Ebira man, is a native of Okenne Local Government of Kogi State. His last known address is: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission.”

Bello had, on Thursday, failed to appear before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja following his arraignment by the EFCC.

The embattled former governor was arraigned in absentia before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering.

Diaspora Digital Media reported how the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, on Wednesday helped Bello, who is his predecessor, escape arrest by operatives of the EFCC.

One of our correspondents who was at the ex-governor’s residence on Wednesday observed Ododo’s arrival with heavy security at about 2:30 pm.

At exactly 4:20 pm, Ododo’s entourage drove out with Bello in the governor’s car.

About 10 minutes after the governor and former governor left, the EFCC operatives laying siege to Bello’s home retreated from the scene.

Twenty minutes after the EFCC operatives left, the policemen, DSS operatives, Counter Terrorism Unit personnel, and other security agents guarding Bello’s house also drove off.

In a statement on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale said, “Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrollment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.”

The EFCC further noted that the commission’s attempt to execute a warrant of arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

He added, “The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle.

“As a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18, 2024. It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, in a statement on Thursday, Yahaya Bello’s media office accused the EFCC of persecution, while accusing the anti-graft agency of filing the same charges in three different courts.

The statement read in part, “The attention of the Media Office of Yahaya Bello has again been drawn to another chapter in the series of the ongoing persecution of the former Governor by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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“Having failed woefully to achieve their motive of national embarrassment with the critical questions that greeted their earlier allegations that the former governor converted over N80bn Kogi State funds to personal use in September 2015, even before he became governor, masterminds of this unending persecution have hurriedly repackaged their script, this time dragging the name of the EFCC further in the mud.

“In a miscalculated bid to satisfy their paymasters at all costs, some desperate politicians have pushed the EFCC to approach another Federal High Court in Abuja, with the same set of questionable allegations without waiting for the determination of the two preceding cases they’ve filed in two different courts simultaneously.

“In this particular one, they tried to correct their initial blunder by saying that about N80bn was now stolen in February 2016, arguably less than three weeks after he assumed office for the first time as Governor of Kogi State on January 27, 2016.

“Looking at the curious and endless scenarios of duplicated charges, cross-charges, counter and frivolous charges, it has become crystal clear that the whole onslaught is nothing but a desperate political witch-hunt of the immediate past governor.

“We want to draw the attention of the President to the fact that the abuse of court processes and prosecutorial powers by the EFCC is assuming a dangerous dimension that the head of the commission might not even have paid attention to. We still want to assume that he is being misled into political persecution, rather than diligent prosecution by bad eggs within the system, working with criminals masquerading as politicians.

“The desperation to nail a man that has done nothing but to raise the bar of governance in his state and provide visible dividends of democracy to all, irrespective of religious or ethnic leaning, has beclouded the rational thinking of masterminds and pushed them into a consistent pattern of raising extremely frivolous and indefensible allegations against their target.”

Ododo may boycott Ondo APC primary

Meanwhile, there are fresh indications that Ododo might not turn up in Ondo State for today’s governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress as promised.

Ododo was appointed to head the seven-man Primary Election Committee set up to conduct the shadow poll in all 18 local government areas of the state, while a former Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, was chosen as his secretary.

Other members include a former Oyo Deputy Governor, Iyiola Oladokun; Senator Lekan Mustapha, Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, Margaret Duru, and Dr Sani Danjuma.

The Kogi governor was however absent from Friday’s oath-taking ceremony, which took place at the party’s national secretariat.

Defending his principal, Ododo’s deputy, Salifu Oyibo, attributed his absence to ‘security challenges’.

He, however, insisted that the governor had promised to be available in Ondo State for the assignment on Saturday.

But, a source in the newly inaugurated primary committee, who preferred not to be mentioned, told our correspondent that the governor may boycott the exercise due to the same ‘security challenges’ excuse given by his deputy.

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“Ododo is not coming. Did you sincerely expect him to leave Kogi to monitor an election at a critical period when the EFCC is seeking to apprehend his mentor and predecessor? Who does that?

“Even the party knows that the promise of being in Ondo is not feasible. I am sure a last-minute arrangement is being made. Otherwise, Omo-Agege may take charge of proceeding on Saturday (today),” the source explained.

Meanwhile, Ododo’s imminent absence may unsettle some governorship aspirants, who are looking forward to the committee’s work.

One such aspirant is Wale Akinterinwa, who spoke highly of Ododo’s qualities on the eve of the primary at a press conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

He said, “I expect that the Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, I don’t know him, but I believe he is a man of integrity and capacity. Obviously, for choosing him to conduct the election here, the party hierarchy must know that he is capable of doing a good job.

“I expect that we will have a level playing field, and there will be free and fair primaries, hitch-free, even though people are still a bit skeptical due to certain things. But, I know that despite these obstacles, I will surmount them and come out victorious.

“The party has a structure. I believe that the people coming to conduct the primaries are also members of the party, and have an understanding of their roles.”

APC chieftain calls for Ododo’s suspension

A former National Vice Chairman of the APC, Salihu Usman, has called for Ododo’s suspension by the party’s leadership.

This call comes in response to allegations that the governor shielded his predecessor from the scrutiny of the EFCC.

Speaking in an interview on Arise TV on Friday, Usman described Ododo’s action as an impeachable offense.

He stressed the need for accountability, stating that Bello must face the allegations against him.

He said, “In a simple allegation of corruption against him, he (Yahaya Bello) is running away. As a party, we must tell him that he has a duty to go and answer to the charges being levied against him.

“It is even more scandalous, and it raises a bigger moral burden when our governor who succeeded (former) governor Yahaya Bello is shielding him and blocking him from being answerable to law enforcement agencies.

“As far as I am concerned, if proven, that constitutes an impeachable offense. I think our party should have made a pronouncement to suspend the governor from the party until this thing is brought under control.”

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