N80b Fraud: Judge Insists Yahaya Bello Must Appear In Court

Yahaya Bello

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja has insisted that the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, must come to court and answer to the fraud allegations leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

A sum of 80 billion naira fraud allegation leveled against the former Kogi State governor.

On April 23, the court ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to serve the former governor with the money laundering charges against him through his lawyer.

In a ruling, Justice Nwite stated that the application filed by the antigraft agency, that no application be heard without the defendant being in court, was meritorious.

While citing section 396 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the trial judge held that Bello ought to make himself available first before filling any process.

The trial Judge held that since Bello has continued to disobey court orders, he would not be allowed to file any application or be heard.

The judge added that even if an arrest warrant was illegally obtained, he should have appeared in court.

Bello is also praying the court to stay further hearing of the alleged money laundering suit filed against him by the EFCC until the Court of Appeal decides a pending case relating to the same matter.

Through his counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed, the former governor informed the court that the EFCC had by a motion ex parte got an order of the Appeal Court stopping the contempt proceedings filed by him against the agency at the High Court sitting in Lokoja.

The counsel, therefore, said that as the appellate court has already fixed May 20 to hear the case, it will be important for the Federal High Court to wait for the outcome before going further with the trial.

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