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Confusion As EFCC Names Ex-Kogi Gov In Amended Corruption Allegations

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Confusion As EFCC Names Ex-Kogi Gov In Amended Corruption Allegations
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. Ali Bello, Suleman Refute EFCC’s Allegations In Amended Charges

There was confusion on Thursday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, following amended charges filed against Alli Bello and Daudu Suleiman, including the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, in which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission claimed they allegedly diverted about N100 billion belonging to the state government in September 2015, months before former Governor Bello assumed office as Governor.

Governor Bello was not a defendant in the original suit, and was not in court. However, Ali Bello, currently Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor and Dauda Suleman have denied the fraud allegations in the amended charges brought against them at the fresh aaraignment on Thursday in Abuja.

Their plea was taken by Justice James Kolawole Omotoso.

Both Alli Bello and Dauda Suleman vehemently denied the allegations contained in the 17 counts amended charges.

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Earlier, Yahaya Bello through his counsel, A.M. Aliyu, SAN, had objected to reading of the amended charges to his client.

His ground of objection was that the anti-graft agency had failed woefully to comply with Section 218 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The senior lawyer submitted that a copy of the amended charges was not served on them as required by the provisions of the ACJA Act.

EECC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo SAN asked the court to reject the arguments of the defendant, adding that the court had on its own endorsed the amendment.

In a brief ruling, Justice Omotoso recalled that he had granted accelerated hearing in the matter and had also ordered that all forms of objections must be kept in abeyance till address stage.

He then directed the Registrar of the Court to read the amended charges.

In the first count, former Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, Alli Bello and Dauda Suleman were accused of conspiring with each other in September 2015 and converted N80, 246, 470, 089 to their personal use.

They were alleged to have run foul of section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 because they ought to have reasonably known that the money was a product of fraud and criminal breach of public trust.

In other charges, Alli Bello and Dauda Suleman were alleged to have concealed several millions of naira with one Rabiu Musa Tafada, a Bureau De Change BDC operator trading under Global Venture in Abuja.

Alli Bello’s counsel, Aliyu SAN, at this point, applied that one of the EFCC witnesses, Edward Fanada, be recalled for fresh cross examination in view of the contents of the amended charges.

The request was granted by Justice James Kolawole Omotoso due to no opposition from the EFCC lawyer.

Meanwhile, Justice Omotoso has ordered that Alli Bello and Dauda Suleman should continue to enjoy the bail conditions granted them in the previous charges.

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