EFCC arraigns Rashida Bello, Kogi first lady, 4 others for committing over N3bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Rashida, wife of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, over alleged fraud. Also arraigned

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Rashida, wife of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, over alleged fraud.

Also arraigned before a federal high court in Abuja was Ali Bello, a nephew to the Kogi governor.

In a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, the agency said the duo were docked alongside three other persons on an 18-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.

Rashida is said to be at large.

“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 one of the charge reads.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all 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 adjourned the case till 13 February, 2023 and ordered that the defendants be remanded in a Correctional Centre pending the determination of the bail application.