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N80.2 Billion Fraud: EFCC Declares Former Governor Yahaya Bello Wanted

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has officially declared Yahaya Bello, the former Governor of Kogi State, wanted in connection with allegations of extensive financial misconduct totalling N80.2 billion.

On Thursday, April 18, 2024, the EFCC issued a public notice detailing the allegations against Mr Bello, including significant charges of money laundering.

The notice specified the precise amount involved: N80,246,470,089.88. Mr. Bello, a 48-year-old native of Okene in Kogi State, was last known to reside at 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

In response to the developing situation, the EFCC has urged the public to report any information regarding Mr Bello’s whereabouts to their nearest office or police station.

“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 (EFCC) 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),” the EFCC wrote in a statement emailed to The Trent 

“Bello, 48-year old Ebiraman, 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 in its lbadan, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices or through these numbers 09-9044751-3, 08093322644, 08183322644, 07026350721-3, 0706350724-5; its e-mail address: [email protected] or the nearest Police Station and other security agencies”.

Yahaya Bello Wanted by EFCC

Complications arose during a failed attempt at arresting former Governor Bello, following a Federal High Court’s authorisation in Abuja that allowed the anti-graft agency to proceed with his arrest ahead of arraignment.

EFCC operatives laid siege to Mr. Bello’s residence in Wuse Zone 4, but he was reportedly smuggled out during a visit from his successor, Governor Ahmed Ododo.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has expressed concern over the evasion tactics employed by Bello, emphasising the importance of cooperation with the EFCC.

“The bizarre drama…has come to my notice as a matter of very grave concern,” said Mr. Fagbemi in a statement.

He added, “It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status.”

Fagbemi further criticised the actions of Governor Ododo for hindering the lawful process and undermining the integrity of Nigerian law enforcement. He called on all involved to respect the rule of law and cooperate fully with the EFCC’s investigations.

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