The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Ali Bello, identified as a nephew of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, before a federal high court in Abuja.
He was arraigned alongside one Dauda Suleiman on a 10-count charge of alleged misappropriation and money laundering, before James Omotosho, a judge, on Thursday.
The anti-graft body claimed the duo, alongside one Abdulsalami Hudu, a cashier at the Kogi state house who is now at large, withdrew N10.2 billion from the state’s treasury for personal use.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Ali Bello, Dauda Sulaiman and Abdulsalam Hudu (now at large), between January and December, 2021, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court procured Rabiu Usman Tafada to take possession of the total sum of N5,865,756,800 (five billion, eight hundred and sixty-five million, seven hundred and fifty-six thousand, eight hundred naira), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: criminal misappropriation from the treasury of Kogi State and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18 (c), 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
The defendants, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Ruling on the request for bail, the court ordered the defendants to provide bail in the sum of N1 billion each, and two sureties who are to provide a bond of N2 billion each and have landed property valued at N500 million.
The court also ordered that they be remanded in prison pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions.
The case was then adjourned till February 6, 2023.