Alleged N80bn Fraud: Immigration Places Yahaya Bello On Watchlist

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has put the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on its watchlist to prevent him leaving the country.

This as the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has also withdrawn all police officers attached to the embattled former Governor of Kogi State.

In a circular dated April 18, 2024 and signed by Assistant Comptroller of Immigration DS Umar, for the Comptroller-General, Kemi Nandap, the NIS alerted the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to effect the former governor’s arrest.

 


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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier declared Bello wanted in connection to an alleged case of money laundering to the tune of N80.2bn.

After a failed attempt to arrest the former Kogi State governor on Wednesday, the EFCC declared him wanted on its official Facebook page.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) has also described as “insufferably disquieting”, the obstruction to the arrest of former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, by his successor, Usman Ododo.

The circular, copies of which were sent to the DSS and the police, contained the name, nationality and passport number of the former Governor (B50083321).

Nanadap stated, “I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on the watch list.

“Suffice to mention that the subject is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court Abuja for Conspiracy, Breach of Trust and Money Laundering vide letter Ref; CR; 3000/EFCC/LS/EGCS.1/ TE/Vide/1/279 dated April 18, 2024.

“If seen at any entry or exit point, he should be arrested and referred to the Director of Investigation or contact 08036226329/07039617304 for further action.”

The IGP’s order for the withdrawal is contained in a police wireless document with reference number: “CB:4001/DOPS/PMF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.48/ 34, which reads in part, “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.”

Bello Declared Wanted
The EFCC had on Thursday declared Yahaya Bello wanted for an alleged financial crime to the tune of N80.2 billion.

The declaration came after the EFCC had spent most of Wednesday laying siege on the Abuja residence of Bello in a failed attempt to arrest him and have him arraigned in court.

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency called on those with vital information about the former Kogi governor’s whereabouts to reach the commission or the police.

“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,” the EFCC said in a Thursday evening post on its Facebook page it captioned ‘Ex-Gov Yahaya Bello Wanted By the EFCC’.

“Anybody with information as to his whereabouts should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest police Station.”

‘Political Witch-Hunt’
In the face of the heated battle, Bello’s Media Office accused the anti-corruption agency of a witchhunt against its principal.

“Looking at the curious and endless scenarios of duplicated charges, cross-charges, counter and frivolous charges by the EFCC against former Governor Yahaya Bello, it has become crystal clear that the whole onslaught is nothing but a desperate political witch-hunt of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State,” his media office said in a statement.






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