Judge’s absence stalls hearing of EFCC’s case against Yahaya Bello


The scheduled hearing in the appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, to set aside the Kogi State court order restraining the anti-graft agency from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello was stalled on Monday.

Recall that a Kogi state High Court judge, I. A Jamil, in a ruling on Wednesday, April 17, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting Bello.

Dissatisfied with the restraining order, the EFCC approached Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja for an arrest warrant to enable them to arraign Bello, which was issued.

Justice Nwite while issuing the arrest warrant said, “It is hereby ordered as follows:

That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant to bring him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“The case is adjourned until April 18 for arraignment.”

The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

However, Bello was not present in court on Thursday, April 18 for his arraignment as the EFCC couldn’t arrest him.

It was claimed by the EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinehero, (SAN) in court that he was whisked away by a person with immunity.

EFCC in an appeal marked CA/ABJ/PRE/RDA/CV/165MI, is mentioned as the appellant and Bello the sole respondent in the suit.

EFCC in the appeal, contested the Kogi court order because it is a body created by statute to carry out functions specified in its Establishment Act and empowered to investigate and prosecute economic crimes as set out under sections 6 and 7 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act.

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