The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned a suspect identified as Ali Bello, a nephew of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court Abuja.
In a statement, Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said Bello was arraigned alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege, Iyada Sadat, Rashida Bello (at large).
The defendants were charged with 18 counts bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.
Count one of the charge reads “That you, ALI BELLO, ABBA ADAUDU, YAKUBU SIYAKA ADABENEGE, IYADA SADAT, RASHIDA BELLO (at large) sometime in June, 2020 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E- Traders International Limited to retain the aggregate sum of N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18(a), 15(20)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
Count 3 reads, “That you, ALI BELLO, ABBA ADAUDU, RASHIDA BELLO (at large) sometime in November, 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty United States Dollars) to account number no; 426-6644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to with: criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
The defendants were said to have pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, reportedly urged the court to give a trial date to enable the prosecution to prove its case.
“However, defence counsel, Ahmed Raji SAN, prayed the court to grant his client bail pending the hearing and determination of the case.
“Justice Egwuatu adjourned the case till 13 February, 2023 and ordered that the defendants be remanded in a Correctional Centre pending the determination of the bail application,” the statement read.