On Monday, the Federal High Court in Abuja sent Ali Bello, a nephew of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, back to jail. Bello will testify in court on 18 charges that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed against him and three other defendants for their alleged involvement in a N3 billion scam.
Some of the counts against them, read, “That you, Ali Bello, Abba Adauda, Yakubu Adabenege, Iyada Sadat, and Rashida Bello (at large) sometime in June 2020 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this 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 with: 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.
“That you, Ali Bello, Abba Adauda, and Rashida Bello (at large) sometime in November, 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable 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.”
Other defendants in the case are Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyada Sadat.
At the resumed proceedings on Monday, Ahmed Raji, SAN, told the court that the anti-graft agency served him with a counter-affidavit towards the close of work last Friday. Though the EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr M.K. Hussein, confirmed the development, Justice Egwuatu noted that the process was not in the court’s file.
It was discovered that the process was forwarded to another court. As a result, Justice Egwuatu deferred hearing of the bail applications and the EFCC’s counter-affidavit till Tuesday.
He ordered that the defendants should be returned back to prison custody. Earlier, trial Justice Obiora Egwuatu, had on February 8, remanded the defendants in Kuje prison after they pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defendants, through their lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, prayed the court to release them on bail pending the hearing and determination of the case against them contending that the charge contained bailable offenses.
Opposing the bail application on the premise, the EFCC argued that the defendants posed a flight risk and requested a trial date as well as time to file a counter-affidavit in opposition to the defendant’s bail request.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the charge against the defendants bordered on conspiracy, fraud criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.00.