Nigerian News

N10bn fraud: Witness suddenly falls ill during trial of Yahaya Bello’s cousin

The trial of Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman over alleged N10 billion money laundering was stalled on Tuesday owing to the sudden complaint by the prosecution witness that he was feeling unwell.

Suleiman and Bello, who is a cousin of former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello, were arraigned on a 10-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice James Omotosho in Abuja.

The prosecution called its third witness, Rabiu Musa, who claimed to be a bureau de change operator, based in Abuja. Musa, who was led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), tendered two record books.

The witness claimed to be familiar with the defendants, but could not recall details of his relationship with them.

Musa denied knowing one Hudu’ driver whose name was contained in one of the record books tendered by the prosecution, which was marked as Exhibit G.

The witness, who said he could not speak English and could neither read nor write, testified through an interpreter who translated his testimony in Hausa to English.

Midway into his testimony, the witness suddenly became uncomfortable, prompting Justice James Omotosho to ask what the problem was.

Responding, Musa said he was feeling unwell and that he has developed high blood pressure, which prompted the judge to ask again if he needed time.

At a point, the judge asked an official of the court to get water for the witness, following which a bottle of water was brought for him.

The witness drank from the bottle and later requested that he be given some time, a request which the judge acceded to.

Justice James Omotosho said he should use the adjournment to attend to his health and familiarise himself with the transactions that he said his boys recorded for him in the tendered record books. He then adjourned till February 13, 22 and 23 for continuation of trial.