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Kogi Denies N10.2bn Stolen From State Coffers By Gov Bello’s Nephew, Others

Kingsley Fanwo, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, has denied alleged illegal withdrawal and laundering of N10 billion from the state government’s coffers.

Fanwo’s reaction followed the arraignment of Governor Yahaya Bello’s nephew, Aliyu Bello, and two others before a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The commissioner said “Let it be on record that no money belonging to the Kogi Government was laundered.

“For many years, Kogi has won awards as one of the most transparent state governments such that an anti-graft agency can use Kogi as an example of transparency and excellence.”

Speaking further in a statement issued on Friday in Lokoja, Fanwo said no government official in the state was involved in any money laundering.

THE WHISTLER reported on Thursday that the EFCC had posted on its website that some Kogi State government officials, including the governor’s nephew, were arraigned in court on charges bordering on misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.

The anti-graft agency gave the names of the arraigned persons as Aliyu Bello, a nephew to Yahaya Bello, Dauda Sulaiman and one Abdulsalami Hudu (now at large), a Cashier at the Kogi State House Administration, on a 10-count charge of misappropriation and money laundering.

They were arraigned by the EFCC on Thursday before Justice James Kolawole Omotosho.

Bello and Sulaiman were accused of fraudulent withdrawal of the sum of ten billion , two hundred and seventy million, five hundred and fifty-six thousand eight hundred naira (N10, 270,556,800), from the Kogi State treasury.

After making the said withdrawal, they allegedly delivered the money to a Bureau de Change operator, Rabiu Tafada, in Abuja to keep or change to foreign currencies for personal gains.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

However, in his statement, Fanwo called on the Commission to do a thorough check on these allegations.

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