Ali Bello, the newly appointed chief of staff to Usman Ododo, governor of Kogi, is standing trial for money laundering.
Bello was among the appointees announced by Ododo on Saturday shortly after he took the oath of office in Lokoja, Kogi state capital.
According to the Economic and Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bello is a nephew to Yahaya Bello, the immediate former governor of the state.
On February 8, 2023, the anti-graft agency arraigned Bello alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege, and Iyada Sadat for allegedly misappropriating N3,081,804,654.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the 18-count charge “bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering”.
Obiora Egwuatu, the presiding judge, ordered that the defendants be remanded at a correctional centre pending the ruling on their bail application.
They were later granted bail in the sum of N500 million each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge ruled that the sureties must reside in Abuja, with identifiable addresses, and own landed properties worth N500 million within the jurisdiction of the court.
He said the original title documents of the properties must be deposited with the registrar of the court, as well as evidence of tax payment for three years between 2020 to 2022.
The defendants were also ordered to deposit their international passports with the court and can only travel after due permission from the court.
The prosecution called its second witness on January 11 and the case was further adjourned to February 5 and 6 for continuation.