From Fred Itua, Abuja


The operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) have laid siege to the Abuja home of former Kogi State Governor , Yahaya Bello

The Zone 4 , Abuja residence of the former governor has been barricaded by the commission.

The former governor has been at loggerheads with the EFCC over his multi-billion naira fraud case leveled against him by the anti-graft agency.

Daily Sun had exclusively reported last week that EFCC had gotten the nod of President Tinubu and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi to prosecute Bello.

Bello, alongside his nephew and other former government officials are accused of siphoning over N80 billion while he held sway as governor.

Over 140 properties have also been linked to the embattled former governor, both in Nigeria and abroad. His media aide, Mohammed Onogwu didn’t respond to calls or messages to confirm the latest development.

Spokesman of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, couldn’t be reached to confirm or deny the siege when contacted by our correspondent on the phone.

A source in EFCC has, however, revealed that they’re behind the siege and that the operatives won’t vacate the residence until Bello is arrested.

The source said Bello has repeatedly refused to honour a series of invitations extended to him by the Commission, to respond to allegations leveled against him.

Instead, the source said Bello has been using civil society groups to blackmail the anti-graft agency and scouting for black market court orders to stop his arrest.

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However, a visit to the facility, revealed the presence of armed EFCC operatives, who have condoned off all the entry and exit points into the residence.

His supporters and former officials of the State Government were also seen loitering round the vicinity, but unable to access the facility.

Bello’s office in a media release, said despite a subsisting order of injuntion granted on 9th February 2024 by the High Court of Justice, Lokoja Division between Yahaya Bello v. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, restraining the Commission either by itself or its agents from harassing, arresting, detaining or prosecuting Alhaji Yahaya Bello, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive fundamental rights enforcement action, the EFCC is bent on arresting him.

It said the EFCC was duly served with that order on 12th February 2024 and on 26th February 2024, the EFCC filed an Appeal (Appeal No.: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello) against the said Order to the Court of Appeal Abuja division.

“We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call the EFCC to order in the interest of legal sanity,” the state statement read.

Bello since he left office, has refused to attend any public function or visit certain places over fears that he maybe picked up by EFCC operatives who are believed to have been tailing him.

The former governor who sources said was a permanent guest at the Government House, Lokoja and occasionally in Abuja, had made frantic, but unsuccessful efforts to get an audience with President Tinubu.

Following his failure to meet President Tinubu, Bello, one of the sources said, hired his political godson and governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Usman Ododo to lobby powerful elements in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to intervene. Ododo’s efforts to see President Tinubu on the issue has also failed.

Last month, Governor Ododo met with the national chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, to make a strong case for Bello.

An APC chieftain told Daily Sun that Ganduje declined to intervene, maintaining that it was against the anti-graft policy thrust of President Tinubu.