Sunday, May 26, 2024

After seven hours-long siege to Bello’s residence, EFCC withdraws; Lokoja court grants ex-governor reprieve

It was unclear whether Mr Ododo, who had arrived at the ex-governor’s residence with his convoy around 2:30 p.m., went to the former governor or left him behind.

and • April 17, 2024

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has withdrawn its operatives from the home of former Governor Yahaya Bello over alleged fraud after a seven-hour-long siege and standoff.

The EFCC operatives had on Wednesday laid siege to the home of Mr Bello on No 9 Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, apparently to effect his arrest.

The EFCC operatives retreated shortly after Governor Usman Ododo, who visited him, departed around 4:30 p.m. The anti-graft agents had besieged the ex-Kogi governor’s residence since 9:00 a.m.

However, it was unclear whether Mr Ododo, who had arrived at the ex-governor’s residence with his convoy around 2:30 p.m., went to the former governor or left him behind.

The EFCC operatives’ withdrawal resulted from a court order which restrained the commission from arresting, detaining, or prosecuting the former Kogi governor.

On Wednesday, the Lokoja Division of the Kogi High Court restrained the EFCC from infringing on the former governor’s fundamental human rights.

In a two-hour judgment delivered on Wednesday at the High Court 4 and presided over by Justice I.A. Jamil, in suit number HCL/68/M/2020, the court restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining, and prosecuting the applicant except as authorised by the court.

This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.

The judgment followed the suit brought before the court by Mr Bello, the applicant, seeking to enforce his fundamental rights against EFCC.

The court equally restrained the respondents from continuing to persecute the applicant.

Earlier in the judgment, the court dismissed the issue of jurisdiction as challenged by the EFCC.

The applicant’s counsel, S.A. Abbas and M.S. Yusuf described the judgment as a landmark, while the defendant counsel, T.U Odima and Patrick O. Jibril, also aligned themselves to the judgment, describing it as thorough.


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