Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned ruling on the bail application filed by Ali Bello, nephew of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and four others in a N3 billion money laundering trial to Monday, February 20, 2023.
At the resumed proceedings on the case on Tuesday, February 14, defence counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, informed the court of two motions filed on February 7, 2023, seeking the withdrawal and replacement of the initial applications of January 26, 2023 on behalf of the defendants.
In the supporting affidavits, Raji prayed the court to grant the first defendant and others bail “on the most liberal terms”, stating that the defendants are law -abiding citizens.
“My lord, it has been more than a year since the EFCC has been investigating them and they were admitted to bail which they have not jumped, even once. In fact, the fourth defendant at a time, got his passport back and was permitted by the EFCC to travel to Mecca and he came back,” he said.
However, prosecution counsel, Kabiru Hussini, relying on a seven- paragraph counter affidavit, faulted Raji’s claims. “My lord, our written addresses oppose the application for bail, because we believe that in the interest of this case, the defendants have every tendency to jump bail, because they have all the influence, resources and power to intimidate our witnesses and tamper with evidence in this case,” he said.
Justice Egwuatu adjourned to February, 20 2023, for ruling on the bail application.
Bello and four others, were docked on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 on 18 count charges bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira). The other four defendants are Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege, Iyada Sadat and Rashida Bello(at large).