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ALLEGED N10BN FRAUD: Trial of Yahaya Bello’s nephew, Ali, resumes July 15



The trial of Ali Bello, Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, and his co-defendant, Dauda Sulaiman, has been adjourned to July 15 by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission )EFCC) had instituted an amended money laundering charge against the defendants, with Ali Bello being the nephew of former Governor Yahaya Bello

The defendants are accused of diverting over N10 billion from the state treasury, with the EFCC alleging that others involved in the fraud and money laundering, including Abdulsalami Hudu, the cashier of Kogi State House Administration, and former Governor Yahaya Bello, are at large.

At the Thursday sitting, Olom Egoro, an EFCC witness and Access Bank staff member, was cross-examined by counsel for Bello, Abubakar Aliyu, SAN. The witness acknowledged that there were no lodgements or withdrawals linked to Bello in the exhibit presented. He also clarified that the bank’s ICT Department, not the compliance unit, manages the servers that generate information on bank transactions.

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The counsel for the second defendant, Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN, also cross-examined the witness. After completing the cross-examination, Justice James Omotosho discharged the witness and adjourned the matter until July 15 and 16 for the continuation of the trial.

In the previous sitting on May 6, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, presented Egoro as the sixth prosecution witness. Egoro had testified that the EFCC requested bank statements and documents related to the Kogi State Government House account from 2018 to 2021. He detailed various deposits and withdrawals from the account, including N10 million withdrawals in different tranches.

However, he did not provide information on who deposited or withdrew the funds, or the purpose of the transactions.

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