April 22, 2024

N3bn money laundering charge: Kogi Gov’s nephew, wife know fate tomorrow as trial resumes

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N3bn money laundering charge: Kogi Gov's nephew, wife know fate tomorrow as trial resumes

Glory Ebomah

The money laundering trial of two family members of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, his nephew, Ali Bello and his wife Rashida Bello (at large) resumes tomorrow, February 13, 2023 before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The Ali Bello was among four defendants remanded upon arraignment on February 8, 2023 on 18-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty-One Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty-Four Nair) The other defendants are Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyada Sadat.

Count one of the charge reads “That you, ALI BELLO, ABBA ADAUDU, YAKUBU SIYAKA ADABENEGE, IYADA SADAT, RASHIDA BELLO (at large) sometime in June, 2020 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E- Traders International Limited to retain the aggregate sum of N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18(a), 15(20)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

Count 3 reads, “That you, ALI BELLO, ABBA ADAUDU, RASHIDA BELLO (at large) sometime in November, 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty United States Dollars) to account number no; 426-6644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to with: criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

Count 17 reads, “That you, ALI BELLO, ABBA ADAUDU, RASHIDA BELLO(at large) between 26th July, 2021-6th April, 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to remove from the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court to account no. 426-664-4272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, the aggregate sum of $570,330 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty United States Dollars) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit; criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) ( c ) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 ( 3 )of the same Act.”

Count 18 reads, “That you, ALI BELLO,  ABBA ADAUDU, RASHIDA BELLO(at large) between 26th July 2021 -6th April, 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to remove from the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court to account no. 426-664-4272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, the aggregate sum of $845,852.84 (Eight Hundred and Forty-five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-two United States Dollars) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit; criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(c ) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 ( 3 ) of the same Act.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them. In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, urged the court to give a trial date to enable the prosecution to prove its case.

However, defence counsel, Ahmed Raji SAN, prayed the court to grant his client bail pending the hearing and determination of the case. Justice Egwuatu remanded the defendants and adjourned the case till February 13, 2023 for hearing and determination of their bail applications.

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