Yahaya Bello faces money laundering charges from EFCC

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Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stirred controversy by leveling corruption charges against former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, just days after he gracefully handed over the reins of power to his successor, Usman Ododo, on January 27.

In a surprising turn of events, the EFCC amended existing charges against Bello’s nephew, Ali Bello, and associate, Dauda Suleiman, accused of misappropriating Kogi State funds, to include Bello himself as a co-defendant, with additional counts.

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The amended case alleges that Bello was involved in the conversion of a staggering sum of N80.2 billion (N80,246,470,089.88) from the coffers of the Kogi State Government for personal gain.

The indictment also implicates an alleged co-conspirator, Abdulsalami Hud, described as being at large, alongside Bello and Suleiman.

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Reacting to the EFCC’s move, Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, condemned the action, labeling the charges against Bello as ludicrous.

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Fanwo, who served in Bello’s administration, pointed out that the case, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022, was already pending before Judge James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to the state government, the EFCC’s allegations date back to September 2015, four months before Bello assumed office as governor, a claim dismissed as preposterous.

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In a strongly-worded statement, the government criticized the EFCC’s actions, suggesting that it undermines President Bola Tinubu’s anti-corruption agenda and calling for his intervention to salvage the Commission’s integrity from politicization.

The government emphasized that such legal battles should be left to politicians, urging the EFCC to focus on its mandate rather than being manipulated for political ends.

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