Immigration Service, DSS, Customs, Others at Alert to Prevent Yahaya Bello from Fleeing Abroad

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has tasked all security agencies to place former Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello, on their watch list to prevent him from leaving the country “through any land, air or sea border.”

Granting the request and circulating the EFCC directive, the Nigeria Immigration Service in an internal circular according to Sahara Reporters directed its area and zonal commands to arrest Bello if seen.

The circular stated that the former Kogi governor was under investigation and there was a suspicion that he might leave the country to evade investigations.

“VERY URGENT PLEASE!!! I am directed to request you to place the above named subject on watch list with immediate effect. Subject has resisted arrest and arraignment therefore he may run out of the country anytime. Please accept the assurances of the CGIS’s warmest regards and esteem,” it read.

Copied in circular are the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Inspector General of Police and others.

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

The commission said in a bulletin that “anybody with information as to his whereabout should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest police station.”

The Federal High Court in Abuja had adjourned the case against Yahaya Bello, to April 23.

The planned arraignment of Bello was stalled following his absence in court on Thursday.

Counsel for the EFCC, Kemi Pinheiro, had lamented Bello’s absence from court for his arraignment.

The lawyer noted that the former governor was being protected by someone with immunity, who prevented his arrest on Wednesday by whisking him away in his official vehicle.

Pinheiro said the agency might seek the help of the military to fish out Bello so that he can be arraigned.

Bello’s lawyer argued that the defendant had secured an ex parte order from a High Court restraining the anti-graft agency from arresting and prosecuting the former governor.

He noted that the agency had appealed against the order at the Court of Appeal.

Earlier on Wednesday, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja granted the EFCC permission to arrest the embattled former governor.

On Wednesday night, the EFCC said it would on Thursday (today) arraign Bello before the Abuja court over alleged N80.2 billion money laundering.

However, the EFCC lamented that its attempt to execute the warrant of arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance.

“The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle. As a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

“It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible,” it said.

The anti-graft agency said in a statement issued on Wednesday night by its Head of Media & Publicity, Dele Oyewale, that Bello will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects including his cousin, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,088.88.

%d bloggers like this: