Yahaya Bello on the run!


*Ex-Kogi governor declared wanted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

*EFCC says he’s wanted for offences relating to financial crimes amounting to N80bn

*That anybody who knows his whereabouts should report to the Commission

*EFCC officials had besieged Bello’s residence in Abuja on Wednesday to arrest him

By Kenneth Atavti

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, wanted.

According to a statement on its official Facebook, Thursday, EFCC declared Bello wanted for offences relating to economic and financial crimes.

“Former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, is wanted by the EFCC for offences relating to economic and financial crimes to the tune of N80.2 billion.

“Anybody with information as to his whereabouts should report immediately to the commission or the nearest police station,” the EFCC said.

“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 alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88

“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”, the statement read.

The notice asked anybody with useful information about the former governor’s whereabouts to contact any of the commission’s offices across the country.

It would be recalled that the anti-graft commission had earlier stated that it would, on Thursday (today), arraign the former governor before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

This was after the EFCC was granted a warrant of arrest by the Federal High Court in Abuja to apprehend the former governor.

The agency’s team of lawyers, led by Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, during the proceedings on Thursday, said that EFCC operatives were prepared to carry out the arrest warrant for the former governor, even if it requires the use of force.

“We have to arraign him in court even if we have to use the military. Immunity is only attached to a person and not the building.

“The law allows us to break down walls to arrest an evading defendant. Section 284 says all persons are to obey the service of charge,” Pinheiro stated.

At Bello’s Abuja residence, on Wednesday, a group of armed men, identified as “Special Forces,” along with officers from the Nigeria Police Force, intervened to prevent the EFCC operatives from apprehending him.

It would be recalled that on Wednesday, April 17, the anti-graft agency’s officials besieged the former governor’s residence in Abuja to effect his arrest.

However, the Kogi state Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo came with his security operatives and whisked him away from the grasp of the EFCC.

Bello and three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu, will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite. They will face 19 counts related to money laundering to the tune of N80, 246,470,088.88.