N80bn money laundering: Yahaya Bello on watchlist, immigration alerts DSS

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The Nigerian Immigration Service has placed the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on a watchlist to prevent him from leaving the country amidst ongoing legal issues. This action followed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declaring Bello wanted for alleged money laundering amounting to N80.2 billion.

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In a circular dated April 18, 2024, signed by Assistant Comptroller of Immigration DS Umar on behalf of the Comptroller-General Kemi Nandap, the NIS alerted security agencies to effect Bello’s arrest upon any attempt to enter or exit the country. The circular detailed Bello’s legal situation, stating he faces prosecution before the Federal High Court Abuja for conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering.

The EFCC, through an official Facebook post, notified the public of Bello’s wanted status and provided details of the alleged offense. The EFCC’s efforts to arrest Bello on Wednesday in Abuja were reportedly unsuccessful, prompting the commission to issue the declaration.

Meanwhile, an altercation emerged between Bello’s legal team and the EFCC over the attempt to arrest him. The former governor’s lawyers cited legal injunctions against his arrest, leading to a standoff at his residence where the EFCC operatives were unable to apprehend him.

In response to the situation, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), condemned actions obstructing law enforcement operations, emphasizing that no individual is above the law. He stressed the importance of upholding legal processes and the rule of law in all circumstances.

The EFCC expressed determination to pursue legal means to bring Bello to court for arraignment, indicating a potential escalation of enforcement efforts, including the involvement of the military if necessary.

Civil society organizations have weighed in on the matter, cautioning against breaches of legal protocols and urging strict adherence to due process. They emphasized the significance of respecting court orders and ensuring transparency in law enforcement activities to uphold democratic principles and protect individual rights.

The unfolding situation underscores broader concerns about the rule of law and the conduct of law enforcement agencies in addressing corruption allegations, with calls for adherence to legal procedures and accountability in the pursuit of justice.


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Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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