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Police detain Yahaya Bello’s ADC, security details

The Nigeria Police Force has detained the female police officer who served as the aide-de-camp to former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello. The ADC was arrested along with other police officers attached to the 48-year-old former governor, and they are currently being held at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Their arrests and detention followed a Thursday night order by the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, directing their immediate withdrawal from the former governor.

Sources revealed that the officers were detained on suspicion of aiding and abetting Bello’s escape from Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives, who had gone to effect his arrest at his Abuja home on Wednesday. According to a senior police source, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity due to lack of authorization to comment publicly on the matter, the officers were arrested and detained at the order of the IG.

Another source said, ‘Yahaya Bello’s female ADC and other police officers attached to him were brought to the command this morning, and they’ve been detained for aiding and abetting (the governor’s escape).

Egbetokun had, on Thursday night, ordered the withdrawal of all police officers attached to Bello. The order for the withdrawal was contained in a police wireless message sighted by our correspondent on Friday morning. The document read, ‘The Nigeria Police have ordered the withdrawal of all personnel attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and they should acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance.

The Federal Government had, on Thursday night, placed Bello on a watch list. In a document exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Thursday night, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service revealed that Bello was placed on a watchlist for conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering.

The document read, ‘I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on a watchlist. Suffice to mention that the subject is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for Conspiracy, Breach of Trust, and Money Laundering.’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier declared Bello wanted for laundering the sum of N80,246,470,088.88. The notice read, ‘The public is hereby notified that Yahaya Adoza Bello (former Governor of Kogi State), whose photograph appears above is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with an alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo). Bello, a 48-year-old Ebira man, is a native of Okenne Local Government of Kogi State.

Bello had, on Thursday, failed to appear before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja following his arraignment by the EFCC. The embattled former governor was arraigned in absentia before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman, and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering.

According to sources, the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, on Wednesday, helped Bello, who is his predecessor, escape arrest by operatives of the EFCC. Ododo’s arrival at Bello’s residence on Wednesday with heavy security led to Bello’s escape.

The EFCC had earlier attempted to execute a warrant of arrest lawfully obtained against Bello, but the operation was met with stiff resistance. Dele Oyewale, the spokesperson for the EFCC, stated that ‘Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrollment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Thursday, Yahaya Bello’s media office accused the EFCC of persecution, while alleging that the anti-graft agency filed the same charges in three different courts. The statement read in part, ‘The attention of the Media Office of Yahaya Bello has again been drawn to another chapter in the series of the ongoing persecution of the former Governor by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Salihu Usman, a former National Vice Chairman of the APC, has called for Ododo’s suspension by the party’s leadership. Speaking in an interview on Arise TV on Friday, Usman described Ododo’s action as an impeachable offense. He stressed the need for accountability, stating that Bello must face the allegations against him.

He said, ‘In a simple allegation of corruption against him, he (Yahaya Bello) is running away. As a party, we must tell him that he has a duty to go and answer to the charges being levied against him. It is even more scandalous, and it raises a bigger moral burden when our governor who succeeded (former) governor Yahaya Bello is shielding him and blocking him from being answerable to law enforcement agencies.

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