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June 24, 2024

Alleged money laundering: Court adjourns Ali Bello, co-defendants’ trial

Alleged money laundering: Court adjourns Ali Bello, co-defendants’ trial

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, adjourned the alleged money laundering trial of Ali Bello and his co-defendants until Sept. 24 for trial continuation.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu adjourned the matter after defence counsel, Nureini Jimoh, SAN, concluded the cross-examination of the EFCC 2nd prosecution witness (PW2), Olomotane Egoro, and was re-examined by the anti-graft agency’s lawyer, Abbas Mohammed.

Justice Egwuatu, who discharged Egoro, an Access Bank Complaint Officer, from the witness box, adjourned the matter until Sept. 24 and Sept. 26 for trial.

It will be recalled that the EFCC, in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/573/2022, is prosecuting Bello and three others on an alleged N3 billion fraud charge.

While Bello is the 1st defendant, Abba Adaudu, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyadi Sadat are 2nd to 3rd defendants respectively.

Earlier when the matter was called, Jimoh, who appeared for 2nd to 3rd defendants, applied for Exhibits E to N.

While cross-examining Egoro, the witness told the court that though he was not working at the Access Bank branch in Abuja, he said he was stationed in Abuja in 2023 because of the proximity to law enforcement agencies.

He said he was never in the Lagos branch or head office of the bank.

Egoro had, at the previous hearing, said Ali Bello neither lodged nor withdrew money in the bank statements tendered in the proceedings.

Egoro stated this while being cross-examined by Bello’s counsel, Abdullahi Aliyu, SAN, before Justice Egwuatu.

The witness had admitted that majority of the transactions he earlier identified from the accounts belonging to the 2nd to 4th defendants which were suspected to be proceeds of money laundering from the LGAs or Kogi were actually proceeds from a loan of N2 billion accessed from the bank by the 4th defendant’s company.