Yahaya Bello and Sirika face intensified scrutiny by EFCC over alleged fraud.

Yahaya Bello

On Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) intensified its efforts to prosecute Hadi Sirika, a former minister of aviation, and Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, for allegedly misappropriating public monies.

The EFCC has proclaimed Bello wanted. He is accused of stealing over N80 billion from the Kogi treasury.

The anti-graft agency seeks to charge him with 19 counts, including money laundering, breach of trust, and theft totaling N80.2 billion.

Last week, EFCC aimed to arrest Bello for alleged crimes during his tenure as governor by setting up at his residence.

According to HYPEBLOG9JA MEDIA, Bello’s Abuja home was barricaded by EFCC officers and armed security guards, obstructing both doors. Bello’s residence is located on Benghazi Street in Wuse Zone 4.

Governor Usman Ododo, accused of transporting Bello from his Abuja residence in an official vehicle, strongly opposed the proposal.

A contradicting court ruling regarding the former governor’s arrest surfaced on Wednesday while the drama played out.

One of the decisions, rendered by a Kogi State High Court in Lokoja, barred the EFCC from taking Bello into custody or initiating legal action against him.

“In response to the previous interim injunction granted, this is a definitive order,” he declared.

At the EFCC’s request, Justice Emeka Nwite issued the warrant.

Bello fled his trial at the federal high court in Abuja during his scheduled arraignment on Thursday. This prompted EFCC Counsel Kemi Phinro to tell the court that Bello’s nonattendance was an attempt to sabotage his trial.

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Ola Olukoyede, the Chairman of the Commission, took a tough stance against Bello on Tuesday and promised to see his case through to a fair end.

He revealed that the troubled former governor reportedly took $720,000 out of the public coffers.

He claimed that Bello sent the funds to a Bureau de Change operator in order to cover his child’s tuition in full.

“A sitting governor moved money directly from the government to Bureau de Change (and) used it to pay his child’s school fee in advance because he knew he was leaving office,” the speaker stated.

Bello, according to him, wanted the EFCC to visit his town and question him.

“As a governor in power, I invited Yahaya Bello to come to my office so he could clear his schedule. It wasn’t right of me to do that.

However, he stated that he would not be attending since a specific senator had positioned more than 100 media in my office.

Also, He said my men should go to his village and question him,” he continued. “I told him he could use my private gate to give him a cover.”

Onanuga claims that Bello is without anywhere to flee.

The EFCC declared Bello sought for a suspected N80.2 billion financial fraud, prompting the announcement.

But, Yahaya Bello, where will you run to?” he exclaimed. It is best that you get a competent attorney and submit to the EFCC.

EFCC quizzes ex-Aviation Minister Sirika over alleged N8bn fraud

On Tuesday, EFCC escalated probe of ex-Aviation Minister Sirika over ₦8bn Nigeria Air fraud allegations.

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Sirika is accused of several offenses including conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, and money laundering. EFCC claims he awarded aviation contracts to his brother’s company, despite regulations barring such actions involving civil servants.

The controversy surrounding Nigeria Air’s unveiling during the previous administration has drawn attention, with civil society groups urging for transparency.

Former NHRC Chairman Chidi Odinkalu criticized EFCC’s past actions, implying they prioritized public pressure over genuine anti-corruption measures.

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