Ex-governor Yahaya Bello Refuses To Leave Government House,

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are closing-in on the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello over allegation of fraud allegedly perpetrated by him while in office.



Bello, who styled himself as the “White lion” while serving as governor, left office in January 2024 on completion of his two terms in office, has been identified by the EFCC as a co-conspirator in an alleged corruption and misappropriation of public funds allegedly carried out through his nephew, Ali Bello.



Specifically, Bello was identified and named by the EFCC as a co-conspirator and defendant in an alleged corrupt conduct by his nephew, Ali Bello, who is standing trial in a case of money laundering at a Federal High Court, Abuja.



The EFCC on February 5, 2024 amended the charges against Ali Bello from 10 to 17 count charges against Ali Bello, who is presently the Chief of Staff to Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo in the trial that commenced in 2022.



Even though the EFCC is yet to officially charge Bello to court, the former powerful governor of Kogi State has kept off all public function or visit certain places to prevent being arrested by agents of the EFCC that are trailing and monitoring his movements.



Bello who worked so hard to install a successor, is believed to still maintain the Governor’s official residence as his abode as part of the game of evading arrest by the anti-corruption agency that is desirous of picking him up at any slight opportunity.



The embattled former governor is also believed to be using the security personnel and convoy of Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo just as he ensured that he only travels to and fro Abuja and Okenne in the company of the sitting governor of Kogi State.



However, a dependable source at the EFCC headquarters, situated at Jabi District of Abuja, told Forefront on condition of anonymity that the agency is closing in on former governor Yahaya Bello and would be picked up in matter of days.



The source said that the former governor tried in vain to get the nod of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to stop his arrest and possible prosecution which fell flat on its face value as the President refused to interfere with the activities of the Commission.



According to the source; “It must be understood that immunity does not really cover a property or residence but only the person bestowed with such rights. If you would cast your mind back to 2027, the official residence of a sitting governor in one of the States in the North-west zone was searched and monies recovered from it with the governor present.



“So, Yahaya Bello using the Government House as a hiding place may not necessarily prevent his arrest. The Commission is working on it. Government houses cannot be used to carry out crimes of hide suspects,” the source said.



The refusal of President Tinubu was believed to have further jolted and destabilised former Governor Bello, who has equally fallen out of favour with his Party’s national leadership following his attempt shortly after leaving office to cause an upheaval with the intension to take over the position of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a development he later denied.



Another source close to the EFCC said that the Commission has gone far in profiling some of the assets alleged linked to Bello both within Nigeria and outside the country for possible confiscation ahead of the Court case.



It was also gathered that President Tinubu has refused to grant audience to Governor Ododo over the matter thereby making it difficult for Bello to feel free from being arrested by the EFCC since he no longer enjoy immunity.



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