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UPDATED: IG withdraws policemen attached to Yahaya Bello

The Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has withdrawn all police officers attached to the embattled former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

The order for the withdrawal was contained in a police wireless message seen by our correspondent on Friday.

The document with reference number: “CB:4001/DOPS/PMF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.48/ 34 read in part, “IG has ordered the withdrawal of all policemen attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

“Acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance. Please, above, for your information and strict compliance.”

The Nigerian Immigration Service had earlier placed the former governor on its watchlist after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission declared him wanted in connection to an alleged case of money laundering to the tune of N80.2bn.

The NIS circular sighted by The PUNCH was dated April 18, 2024, and was signed by Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, DS Umar, for the Comptroller-General, Kemi Nandap.

The service detailed the name, nationality, and passport number of the former gpvernor (B50083321) saying “I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on the watch list.

“Suffice to mention that the subject is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court Abuja for conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering vide letter Ref; CR; 3000/EFCC/LS/EGCS.1/ TE/Vide/1/279 dated April 18, 2024.

“If seen at any entry or exit point, he should be arrested and referred to the Director of Investigation or contact 08036226329/07039617304 for further action.”

Earlier, the EFCC declared Bello wanted, asking members of the public with useful information about the former governor’s whereabouts to contact any of the commission’s offices across the country.

The anti-graft commission had earlier stated that it would arraign the former governor before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday.

This came after the EFCC was granted a warrant of arrest by the Federal High Court in Abuja to apprehend Bello.

Bello, alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu, were to be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite on 19 counts related to money laundering.

But drama ensued when officers of the Nigeria Police Force foiled the EFCC’s attempt to arrest Bello at his Abuja residence on Wednesday.

A group of armed men, identified as “Special Forces,” along with officers from the Nigeria Police Force, intervened to prevent the EFCC operatives from apprehending him.

The PUNCH gathered that the current governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, had intervened to prevent the arrest of his predecessor.

Ododo’s security team reportedly escorted Bello out of the location in the governor’s vehicle.

SourcePUNCH

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