JUST IN: EFCC Arraigns Yahaya Bello Over N80.2b Money Laundering Claims

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned members of the public that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

This is as the anti-graft agency has insisted that former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, will be arraigned on Thursday despite confirming that he was whisked away by his predecessor Usman Ododo on Wednesday.

The anti-graft agency issued the warning and confirmed the governor’s arraignment in a separate statement signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Wednesday.

The EFCC spent most of the day attempting to arrest the former governor whom the Commission later confirmed was whisked away by his predecessor.

The Commission’s spokesperson said that Section 38(2)(a)(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

According to him, culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

This warning, Oyewale said becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC.

“On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

“Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness.

“The Commission, therefore, warns that it will henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such will be met with appropriate punitive actions,” the statement added.

The EFCC has insisted that it will arraign Bello before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday (tomorrow).

The Commission’s spokesperson said Bello will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19- count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246,470, 088.88( Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).

Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.

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