Nigerian Immigration urges police, DSS to arrest Yahaya Bello

The Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, has asked the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Security, DSS, to arrest former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.

The request comes after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, declared him wanted for committing financial and economic crimes running into over ₦80billion naira.

Kemi Nadep, the Comptroller-general of the NIS, stated this in a circular the agency issued on Thursday. Signed by Assistant Comptroller of Immigration DS Umar, for the Comptroller-General, the circular states, “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 service revealed the former governor’s international passport number as “B50083321”.

TheCornet had reported the standoff between armed EFCC officials who were deployed to Bello’s Abuja residence on Wednesday to effect his arrest. Bello’s handpicked successor Governor Usman Ododo aided his escape by whisking Hin away in his official vehicle under the protection heavily armed security guards, forcing the EFCC officials to beat a retreat.

A displeased EFCC, in a later statement, accused Ododo of obstructing it from carrying out its duties, an action it said was punishable under its enabling law. But, Bello’s lawyer, in a separate statement, denied that he was in Abuja at the time.

The lawyer said that Bello was in Kogi State awaiting the judgement of the state high court. The Kogi court restrained the anti-graft body from arresting Bello. At the same time, the EFCC proceeded to arraign the embattled politician in absentia.

Justice Emeka Nwite, who is hearing the case, granted EFCC’s request to declare Bello wanted and to arrest him wherever he was found.

Similarly, Nigeria’s minister of Justice and attorney-general, Lateef Fagbemi, in his statement, faulted Bello’s evading arres

READ ALSO: EFCC Declares Yahaya Bello Wanted

He urged the politician to instead submit himself to the law while exploring the judicial process to extricate himself from the alleged crime. He also faulted the action of Governor Ododo for aiding Bello’s escape.

Both Kogi State government and Bello have denied the allegations of theft of public funds. In his latest response to the EFCC hunt, Bello alleged that the body was doing the bidding of his political foes.


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