A court has reverted the prosecution of Mohammed Bello, a former permanent secretary of the Sokoto state Ministry of Local Govt. Affairs and Chieftaincy Matters, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The ruling was a triumph for the EFCC, which had initially been forced to handover the prosecution to the attorney-general of Sokoto state.
The taking over of the case from the EFCC, then, was based on a fiat from the attorney-general of the federation empowering state attorneys to decide on cases in the interest of justice. Dissatisfied, the EFCC urged the court to vacate the order. The EFCC cited before the court a letter received from the Office of Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation, stating Bello’s case ought not to have been taken off the anti-corruption agency.
The case has been adjourned to the 7 and 8th of November for continuation of trial
Bello, alongside Abubakar Abdullahi Ahmed and three companies, is being prosecuted for corruption. The companies are Rose Gallery Nigeria Limited, Silver Spring Global Concept Limited and Sitex Multiservice Limited. They are facing 43 counts of money laundering, forgery and altering. The charge followed an investigation which uncovered that money running into hundreds of millions was diverted by the first and second defendants during the first defendant’s tenure as the Permanent Secretary for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs of Sokoto State.
The alleged diversion was perpetrated through the 3rd to 5th defendants in the charge which are said to be companies owned by the first and second defendants who used their relatives as directors of the companies.