EFCC re-arraigns ex-PDP chairman Haliru Bello over ‘N300m fraud’

Friday Ajagunna
Friday Ajagunna

 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned Haliru Bello, a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over allegations of money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

He was re-arraigned on Monday alongside his company, Bam Projects and Properties Ltd.

At the resumed court session, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the four-count amended charge.

Kanu Agabi, Bello’s counsel, prayed the court to allow his client to continue on existing bail granted by Ahmed Mohammed, the previous judge, who handled the case. 

The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said Bello did not flout the earlier bail conditions granted him.

Although Oluwaleke Atolagbe, EFCC counsel, did not oppose Agabi’s application, he pointed out that the first defendant’s bail was once revoked for breaching the terms.

Peter Lifu, the presiding judge, allowed the defendant to continue on the bail terms previously granted.

The judge then fixed May 7 and May 8 for trial.

The case was reassigned to Lifu after the previous judge was elevated to the court of appeal.

Bello is among those being prosecuted by the EFCC for complicity in the arms purchase saga.

The anti-graft agency in December 2015 arraigned Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA); Bashir Yuguda, former minister of state for finance, and Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto, at the federal capital territory (FCT) high court, Abuja, for multiple counts of alleged criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of funds and money laundering.

Bello is alleged to have received N300 million meant for the purchase of arms from Dasuki.

He is a former defence minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan and was appointed acting national chairman of the PDP in May 2015.

Abba Mohammed Bello, son of the former PDP chairman, was arraigned alongside his father in 2016. However, Abba died in January 2023.

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