Friday, May 24, 2024

Wanted Yahaya Bello asks court to dismiss EFCC’s arrest warrant

The EFCC declared the former governor wanted over alleged N80 billion looting of Kogi state’s treasury.

• April 23, 2024
Yahaya Bello (Credit: Yahaya Bello)
Yahaya Bello (Credit: Yahaya Bello)

On Tuesday, former Governor Yahaya Bello asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to vacate the arrest warrant order issued to the EFCC against him on April 17.

Mr Bello, through his lawyer Adeola Adedipe, made the application following an order by Justice Emeka Nwite, directing the EFCC to effect the service of the charge and proof of evidence on the ex-governor’s lead counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed.

In a ruling today, the judge had earlier ordered the EFCC’s lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro, to serve Mr Mohammed, Mr Bello’s leading counsel, with bundles of the charge and the proof of evidence.

The judge, who relied on provisions of Section 382(4) and (5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), held that Mr Mohammed, who announced an unconditional appearance for the defendant, should receive the charge.

However, shortly after the ruling, Mr Adedipe argued that the arrest warrant order, having been made before the charge ought to be set aside suo motu (on its own accord, without any request by the parties involved).

The lawyer argued that contrary to Mr Pinheiro’s submission that the ex-governor must be in court first before any application could be entertained being a criminal case, he said the anti-graft agency also made an application on April 18 after the warrant arrest was issued to EFCC on April 17 and that the court granted it.

According to him, the complainant made an application for substituted service on April 18 after the arrest warrant had been issued on April 17 and on April 23, the judge granted it.

“The court must satisfy itself that the defendant (Mr Bello) will not be prejudiced in fairness if the warrant of arrest continues to hang on his neck, having been made before service of the charge contrary to Section 394 of ACJA,” Mr Adedipe argued.

(NAN)

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