A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, remanded Rashida Bello, wife of Yahaya Bello, Kogi State governor, and Ali Bello, his cousin, in prison over alleged N3bn fraud.
Rashida is, however, said to be at large.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the duo at the Federal High Court on Wednesday.
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″.
“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,” the charge reads in part.
“That you Ali Bello, Abba Adaudu Rashida Bello (at large) sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court procured E-Traders International Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty United States Dollars) to account number no; 426-6644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to with: criminal misappropriation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, thereafter asked the court to set a trial date, but Ahmed Raji, the defence counsel, asked for bail pending when the case would be determined.
Obiora Egwuatu, the presiding judge, ordered that the defendants be remanded at a correctional centre pending the ruling on their bail application.
The matter was also adjourned till February 13.
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