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Kogi Governor’s Wife, Rashida Bello, Nephew Charged With over N3bn Fraud
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, arraigned Ali Bello, a nephew of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court Abuja, who remanded him over alleged N3 billion fraud.
A statement by EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said Bello was docked alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege, Iyada Sadat, First Lady of Kogi State, Rashida Bello (at large) on 18-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.00.
Count one of the charge read: “That you, Ali Bello, Abba Adaudu, Yakubu Siyaka Adagbenege, 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 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 read, “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 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, however, pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, 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.
But 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.