Police Arrests, Detains Yahaya Bello’s ADC, Security Details

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The Nigeria Police Force has detained a female police officer who was the aide-de-camp to embattled former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

 

The ADC was arrested alongside other police officers attached to 48-year-old Bello, and is being detained 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.

 

Senior police sources, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity because they did not have authorisation to comment publicly on the matter, noted that the officers were arrested on the suspicion that they aided and abetted Bello’s escape from operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who had gone to effect his arrest at his Abuja home on Wednesday.

 

“The ADC and the other police details attached to Yahaya Bello have been arrested and detained.

 

“They were arrested on the order of the IG, on the suspicion that they aided and abetted the former governor’s escape from the EFCC on Wednesday,” one of the sources told our correspondent in a telephone conversation on Friday.

 

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, “CB:4001/DOPS/PMF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.48/ 34 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X FOLLOWING MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM NIGPOL.

 

“DOPS ABUJA X BEGINS X CB:4001/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.21/462 DTO:180955/04/2024 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X REF MYLET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/36 DATED 15/04/2024 X AND MY EARLIER LET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/30 DATED 24/01/2024 X Nigeria police have ordered the withdrawal of all men.

 

“Police attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, should acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance. Please above for your information and strict compliance.”

 

Also, 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 Assistant Comptroller General signed the document and copied the Nigeria Customs Service, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services, and the Director of the National Internet Agency.

 

The document read, “I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on a 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/V 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.

 

“Please, accept as always the Comptroller-General’s warmest regards and esteem.”

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier declared Bello wanted for laundering the sum of N80,246,470,088.88.

 

The development was contained in a notice posted on the commission’s official Facebook page on Thursday, with a snapshot of the embattled ex-governor attached.

 

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. His last known address is: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission.”

 

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.

 

The PUNCH had earlier reported how the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, on Wednesday helped Bello, who is his predecessor, escape arrest by operatives of the EFCC.

 

One of our correspondents who was at the ex-governor’s residence on Wednesday observed Ododo’s arrival with heavy security at about 2:30 pm.

 

At exactly 4:20 pm, Ododo’s entourage drove out with Bello in the governor’s car.

 

About 10 minutes after the governor and former governor left, the EFCC operatives laying siege to Bello’s home retreated from the scene. Twenty minutes after the EFCC operatives left, the policemen, DSS operatives, Counter Terrorism Unit personnel, and other security agents guarding Bello’s house also drove off.

 

In a statement on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale said, “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.”

 

The EFCC further noted that the commission’s attempt to execute a warrant of arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

 

He added, “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.”

 

Meanwhile, in a statement on Thursday, Yahaya Bello’s media office accused the EFCC of persecution, while accusing the anti-graft agency of filing 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.

 

“Having failed woefully to achieve their motive of national embarrassment with the critical questions that greeted their earlier allegations that the former governor converted over N80bn Kogi State funds to personal use in September 2015, even before he became governor, masterminds of this unending persecution have hurriedly repackaged their script, this time dragging the name of the EFCC further in the mud.

 

“In a miscalculated bid to satisfy their paymasters at all costs, some desperate politicians have pushed the EFCC to approach another Federal High Court in Abuja, with the same set of questionable allegations without waiting for the determination of the two preceding cases they’ve filed in two different courts simultaneously.

 

“In this particular one, they tried to correct their initial blunder by saying that about N80bn was now stolen in February 2016, arguably less than three weeks after he assumed office for the first time as Governor of Kogi State on January 27, 2016.

 

“Looking at the curious and endless scenarios of duplicated charges, cross-charges, counter and frivolous charges, it has become crystal clear that the whole onslaught is nothing but a desperate political witch-hunt of the immediate past governor.

 

“We want to draw the attention of the President to the fact that the abuse of court processes and prosecutorial powers by the EFCC is assuming a dangerous dimension that the head of the commission might not even have paid attention to. We still want to assume that he is being misled into political persecution, rather than diligent prosecution by bad eggs within the system, working with criminals masquerading as politicians.

 

“The desperation to nail a man that has done nothing but to raise the bar of governance in his state and provide visible dividends of democracy to all, irrespective of religious or ethnic leaning, has beclouded the rational thinking of masterminds and pushed them into a consistent pattern of raising extremely frivolous and indefensible allegations against their target.”

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