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Nigeria’s Police Boss Withdraws Personnel Protecting Yahaya Bello Amidst EFCC Siege

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ABUJA, Nigeria – Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, Nigeria, has found himself increasingly isolated as the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, ordered the withdrawal of all police personnel previously assigned to him.

The directive was revealed in a police wireless message intercepted by the media on Friday, April 19, 2024.

The message starkly noted: “IG has ordered the withdrawal of all policemen attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance. Please, above, for your information and strict compliance.”

This action follows a tense incident on Wednesday when Bello evaded arrest after operatives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, surrounded his Abuja residence.

During the confrontation, a group of ‘Special Forces’ and some police personnel reportedly intervened, preventing EFCC officers from detaining him.

Usman Ododo, Yahaya Bello
Kogi’s Governor Usman Ododo (left) and Former Governor Yahaya Bello

The situation escalated when Governor Usman Ododo’s security team reportedly facilitated Bello’s exit from his residence in the governor’s vehicle, amid the EFCC’s attempts to apprehend him.

In a further blow to the embattled former governor, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has placed him on a watchlist, as detailed in a circular dated April 18, 2024, from the assistant comptroller of immigration, DS Umar.

The circular, addressed to various checkpoints, indicates that Bello is to be arrested if spotted attempting to leave the country.

The EFCC has intensified its pursuit by declaring Bello wanted in connection with alleged money laundering activities involving N80.2 billion.

These allegations have led to his prosecution before the Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering.

As the legal and political drama unfolds, the former governor faces mounting challenges both within Nigeria and potentially internationally, as law enforcement agencies tighten their grip.

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