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NIS places Yahaya Bello on watch list amid N80.2 billion fraud charges



Yahaya Bello

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), on Thursday, placed Yahaya Bello, immediate past governor of Kogi State, on watch list amid allegations of N80.2 billion money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This development occurred shortly after the anti-graft agency had issued a wanted notice for Bello, in relation to allegations of laundering.

The watch list circular, dated April 18, 2024, was signed by DS Umar, Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, on behalf of Kemi Nandap.

The service provided details including the name, nationality, and passport number (B50083321) of the former governor as part of identification in the document.

  • “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,” the circular read.

EFCC declares Bello wanted

Earlier, Nairametrics had reported that the EFCC issued a wanted notice for Bello, urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact any of the commission’s offices nationwide.

In a statement on its official Instagram page, the anti-corruption agency announced that Bello is sought for alleged economic and financial offenses totaling N80.2 billion.

  • “Anybody with information as to his whereabouts should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest Police Station,” the EFCC stated.

What you should know

Earlier on Wednesday, drama had ensued in the former Kogi State governor’s residence as EFCC operatives laid siege on the area for hours, aiming to detain Bello for a potential arraignment the following day.

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-count charge related to money laundering.
  • He was however absent in court for arraignment by EFCC as Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja adjourned the suit to April 23, 2024.
  • EFCC lawyer, Kemi Phinro, told the court that the anti-graft agency might seek the help of the military to fish the former governor out to come face his arraignment.


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