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June 1, 2024
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EXCLUSIVE: N80.2bn Fraud: Yahaya Bello traced to Kogi govt house, security agencies restrained over Ododo’s immunity

Details have emerged that former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N80.2 billion money laundering, is currently taking refuge at the Kogi State Government House in Lokoja.

According to trusted sources, Bello is being protected by the security details attached to the incumbent Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo, who was handpicked by him.

The sources revealed to Ogunwatch that Ododo’s immunity is hindering security agencies, including the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, Department of State Services, the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force, and the EFCC, from storming the government house to effect Bello’s arrest.

EFCC investigators, who spoke to our correspondent in separate exclusive interviews, confirmed that they have tracked down Bello and traced him to the Kogi State Government House in Lokoja. However, they noted that they cannot arrest him due to the immunity of the sitting governor.

One source said, “We have discovered Yahaya Bello’s hideout. He is at the Kogi State Government House. But our operatives cannot go there to arrest him due to the immunity of the sitting governor.”

Another source revealed that “the Kogi state governor is shielding Yahaya Bello from arrest. They are living together in the government house, and the commission hopes that the federal government would give an order to any of its agencies to get him out for prosecution.”

Regarding the delay in Bello’s arrest despite being declared wanted, a top security source noted, “We cannot arrest him since he is at the Government House. Governor Ododo’s immunity is hindering every security agency from storming the place to arrest Yahaya Bello.”

The EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, could not be reached for comments on Friday. Similarly, Governor Ododo’s media aide, Ismail Isah, could not be reached for comment on Monday, as his telephone line was unreachable.

Weeks ago, Governor Ododo and his security details had aided Bello in escaping arrest by the EFCC at his Abuja home. Bello had disregarded several invitations by the EFCC to meet with the anti-graft agency’s chairman, Ola Olukoyede, and investigators over the alleged N80.2 billion money laundering.

Senior EFCC sources confirmed that Bello was invited by the EFCC on several occasions but failed to honor the invites. The EFCC spokesperson, Oyewale, had also confirmed that Bello was invited but did not honor the invite.

The Nigeria Police Force had detained a female police officer who was the aide-de-camp to Bello. The ADC was arrested alongside other police officers attached to Bello and is being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Federal Capital Territory.

The EFCC declared Bello wanted for N80,246,470,088.88 money laundering, and the development was contained in a notice posted on the commission’s official Facebook page, with a snapshot of the embattled ex-governor attached.

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