Court adjourns Ali Bello, co-defendant’s trial until Feb. 6

Mon, Feb 5, 2024
By editor


A Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned the trial of Ali Bello and his co-defendant, Dauda Suleiman, until Tuesday for continuation of hearing in a charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice James Omotosho adjourned the matter after Edward Bannada, the 2nd prosecution witness of EFCC, was cross-examined and re-examined by counsel for the defence and prosecution.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while A.M. Aliyu, SAN, appeared for Bello, the 1st defendant, Nureini Jimoh, SAN, represented Suleiman, the 2nd defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022.

While being cross-examined by Jimoh with respect to the evidence he tendered (statements of accounts),  Bannada, an official of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), said he could not remember seeing the names of the two defendants as beneficiaries who made withdrawals from the bank statements tendered.

He, however, confirmed that Abdulsalam Hudu made most of the withdrawals from the account statements.

The Witness also stated that he played no role in the entries contained in the statements of account and only became a witness in the matter due to EFCC’s invitation.

Bannada also confirmed that the cash transactions of the Kogi State Government and the Kogi State Government House Administration, as seen in the statements of account, were majorly inflow of security funds and the cash withdrawal of the inflow, which did not contravene the Cash Withdrawal Policy of the CBN, the bank or any law.

He also confirmed that the withdrawal by Hudu did not exceed the limit of the security fund lodgement.

When the anti-corruption agency’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, attempted to re-examine the witness on the issue of the absence of the name of Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman on the statements of account and the operation of a computer, tte court overruled him.

The matter was consequently adjourned until Feb. 6 for trial continuation.

NAN reports that the EFCC had, on Dec. 15, 2022, arraigned Bello, identified as a nephew of former Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and Suleiman on a 10-count charge of alleged misappropriation and money laundering.

The anti-graft body claimed the duo, alongside Hudu, a cashier at the Kogi State House who is at large, withdrew N10.2 billion from the state’s treasury for personal use.(NAN)


-February 5, 2024 @ 16:15 GMT|