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How Kogi Ex-Governor Bello's Nephew, Others Brought Dollars In 'Ghana Must Go' Bag To Buy N950Million Abuja House – Witness

Posted by Samuel on Fri 15th Mar, 2024 - tori.ng

The property was purportedly purchased on behalf of former Governor Yahaya Bello by his nephew, Ali Bello, and Suleiman, facilitated through their lawyer, Ramalan Jibril Abdullahi.

Yahaya Bello

During his testimony, a witness presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Yakubu Gana, disclosed the acquisition process of a property situated in Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja, valued at N950 million.

The property was purportedly purchased on behalf of former Governor Yahaya Bello by his nephew, Ali Bello, and Suleiman, facilitated through their lawyer, Ramalan Jibril Abdullahi.

Gana, a counsel for the property owner and seller, and a fourth prosecution witness in the fraud case against Ali Bello, nephew of former Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, and others gave the revelation on Thursday at the resumed trial.

SaharaReporters had reported that Nigeria's anti-corruption agency, EFCC, on December 15, 2022, arraigned Ali Bello and Suleiman on 10 counts of alleged misappropriation and money laundering.

It also reported on Thursday that EFCC had dragged former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello before Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja for alleged N84 billion money laundering.

The former governor was dragged to court, alongside his nephew Ali Bello, Dauda Sulaiman and Abdulsalam Hudu.

The EFCC said it is prosecuting the quartet on amended 17 counts bordering on money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N84, 062,406,089.88.

However, during the continuation of the trial, counsel for EFCC, Oyedepo invited the fourth Prosecution Witness, PW4, Yakubu Gana, who told the court they “negotiated and agreed on the sum of N950million," for the property.

He said, “Their lawyer, Ramalan Abdullahi, said his clients would prefer to pay in cash and in dollars. I had to call my client to inform him because he was not in the country at that time. My client cautioned me whether I knew the buyers, and I answered I knew their lawyer way back in secondary school."

He revealed that some of the money which was in dollars was brought in 'Ghana must go'.

“The lawyer and the clients invited me into their office, a bureau de change office at Zone 4, adjacent to Sheraton, now Abuja Continental Hotel. They then showed me dollars in ‘Ghana must go,’ but the dollars in ‘Ghana must go’ was not up to that N950 million.”

“They said they would make it up by bringing some dollars to make it to N950 million. The transaction took us almost two weeks, and the lawyer invited me to the same BDC office for confirmation, then the money was completed in dollar equivalent,” he said.

A statement by EFCC's Head Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, released on the proceedings, said that the fifth prosecution witness, Abdullahi had in his testimony, told the court that though he acted as a go-between in the purchase of the property, his major assignment was to carry out due diligence on the said property which paved the way for its purchase by Ali Bello and Suleiman, his clients.

Oyedepo requested for the property’s title documents to enable him to tender them in evidence.

However, Justice Omotosho ordered him to formally apply to the defendants and thereafter adjourned the matter to March 28, 2024, for continuation of trial.



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