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EFCC asks Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and others to watch-list Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked INTERPOL in North African countries Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Algeria to place former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, on its watchlist.

The Nation reports that the antigraft agency took the decision based on credible intelligence. Sources in the agency were quoted to have said that many options are on the table in dealing with the Bello situation, including but not limited to storming the Kogi State Government House in Lokoja, where the ex-governor is believed to be hiding.

The watch list was activated ahead of the July 17th expected appearance of the former governor before a Federal High Court in Abuja. Bello is facing a 19-count charge for alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds of about N80.2 billion.

Although the ex-governor has denied the allegation, he has consistently failed to appear before the trial Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite on June 13th and June 27th.

At the last hearing, he filed an application for the transfer of his trial to the Federal High Court, Lokoja.

“Ahead of the next hearing of the case, EFCC has activated many options, including taking a concrete action to watch-list Bello in North Africa. We are aware of a botched exit to Morocco via Cameroon. We are determined to stop him from going on exile. From Singapore, the EFCC Executive Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede was in Tunisia where he delivered a paper at a session on illicit financial flows.

Thereafter, he had a meeting with all the Heads of INTERPOL in North Africa on the intelligence on the ex-governor. He formally asked INTERPOL to place Bello on Red Alert in all North African countries and it was accepted. The watch-list has taken immediate effect. He will be arrested in any part of North Africa. We took this step because we are suspecting that he had been bidding time not to be available for arraignment. We expect Bello to be in court to prove his innocence. EFCC has to do its work to avoid bad precedent.”

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