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Alleged N84bn fraud: Sporadic shooting as Gov Ododo stops EFCC from arresting Yahaya Bello in Abuja

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.Courts give conflicting judgements on ex-governor

.As EFCC obtains warrant to arrest him

.’Ododo took Bello away in his official car’

.Obstruct our operations, risk 5 years in jail, EFCC tells Nigerians

There was pandemonium on Wednesday, following sporadic gunshots at the Zone 4, Abuja, residence of former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, after the incumbent Governor, Usman Ododo “smuggled” him out of the building.
Consequently, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC who had laid siege to Bello’s residence to arrest him, ahead of his arraignment in Court Thursday over alleged fraud left the home disappointed.
Channels television had earlier reported that officials of the EFCC had besieged Bello’s residence to arrest him on Wednesday afternoon.
Also, Bello, in a statement, also urged President Bola Tinubu to call the EFCC to order, saying the invasion was ill-motivated.
It was learnt that after hours of being unable to secure Bello’s arrest, the security operatives reinforced with backup support from the Police and Department of State Services (DSS).
Our correspondent gathered that the security operatives were planning to forcefully arrest him before the arrival of Gov. Ododo.
Ododo, who drove into Bello’s compound with armed escorts, departed after a while.
However, as he was leaving, reports filtered in that Yahaya Bello was in his vehicle, forcing security operatives who had been on standby to start shooting sporadically into the air.

Sources said getting the whereabouts of Bello wasn’t easy as the former governor reportedly played “cat and mouse” with the anti-graft agency.
According to sources,
Bello deliberately left his mobile phone at the Government House in Lokoja to avoid being tracked to Abuja, not knowing that the EFCC were already tracking the mobile phone of his aide he had used.
Through the aide’s mobile phone, the former governor was tracked to his residence in Abuja.

“Yahaya Bello left his phone at the Government House in Kogi to avoid being tracked to Abuja.
“But the mobile phone of his aide which he used was already being tracked to where he was trapped in Abuja,” a source stated.
The EFCC had charged the former governor with financial fraud to the tune of N84 billion.
Meanwhile, a High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday restrained the Commission from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the former governor.
Justice I.A Jamil, gave the order in a two-hour judgment delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020 in Lokoja on Wednesday.
The judge held that infringing on the fundamental human rights of the former Kogi is null and void except as authorised by the Court.
“By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant. This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given, ” he said.

Bello had filed a case of a breach of his fundamental human rights by the Anti-graft agency before the state High Court.
Bello had prayed for an order restraining the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting him unjustly.
However, Justice Emeka Nwite if the Federal High Court Abuja, has granted the EFCC an order for Bello’s arrest adding that by the Act establishing the EFCC, it had the power to arrest with or without warrant of arrest.
He said that the EFCC “had tried” to serve the former governor with notice of arraignment.
Earlier, Yahaya Bello Media Office had in a statement signed by Onogwu Mohammed on Wednesday alerted the nation to a siege on the former governor’s Abuja residence.
But there was confusion at the Federal High Court in Abuja, also on Wednesday, when the court ordered the arrest of the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for arraignment in court on Thursday.
The judgement came shortly after the Kogi State High Court in Lokoja earlier on Wednesday gave a judgement restraining the EFCC from harassing, detaining or prosecuting the the former governor.
Mr Bello had filed a case of a breach of his fundamental human rights by the Anti-graft agency before the state High Court.
The former governor had prayed for an order restraining the EFCC from arresting, detecting and prosecuting him unjustly.
Mr Bello, sought for the enforcement of his fundamental right against the EFCC.
The court, consequently, restrained the respondents from persecuting the applicant, safe only when it has reasonable evidence upon proper investigation.
On the issue of jurisdiction, the judge dismissed EFCC’s objection, saying it had failed and so was dismissed.
“This honourable court has jurisdiction to entertain this application.
“Therefore, the substantive issues of fundamental human rights sought by the applicant succeeds, ” he declared .
Speaking to journalists, Mr Bello’s counsel, S.A. Abbas and MS Yusuf, described the judgement as a landmark and a victory to the judiciary according to the News Agency of Nigeria,

Obstruct our operations, risk 5 years in jail, EFCC tells Nigerians

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has read the riot act to members of the public, warning that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.
EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, in a statement on Wednesday, noted that Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act made it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.
The commission said that culprits risked a jail term of not less than five years.
According to him, “This warning becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.
“On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order. Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness.”
The Commission, therefore, warned that it would henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such would be met with appropriate punitive actions.
The commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest against former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday, April 17, met stiff resistance.
The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, who ensured that Bello was spirited away in his official vehicle.
The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18, 2024.
The commission declared that Bello was not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has vowed to arraign Bello on Thursday, April 18, 2024 before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The anti-graft agency stated that Yahaya Bello would be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,088.88.
Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.
Count one of the charges reads: “That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu (Still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,088.88, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended”.
Count 17 of the charges read: “That you Yahaya Bello between 26th July 2021 to 6th April 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided E-Traders International Limited to conceal the aggregate sum of N3,081,804,654.00 in account number 1451458080 domiciled in Access Bank PLC, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act.”
Count 18 of the charges reads: “That you Yahaya Adoza Bello sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly procured E-Traders international Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330 to account number 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust 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”.

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