Legal Arguments Begin Over EFCC’s Bid To Arraign Yahaya Bello


Legal tussle over the legality of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC’s) bid to arraign ex-Kogi State governor Yahaya Bello over alleged N80.2 billion frauds will begin on Monday at the Court of Appeal in Abuja as the appeal court is expected to hear the EFCC’s application, seeking to set aside the interim injunction of the Kogi State High Court.

This is just as Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja is expected to deliver his ruling tomorrow over the EFCC’s request for the court to grant an order to effect substituted service of the charges on Yahaya Bello.

Justice Isa Abdullahi of Kogi State High Court had on February 9, 2024, given an interim restraining order against the commission from taking any action against Bello, pending the determination of the substantive matter.

But the EFCC later approached the Court of Appeal on March 11, 2024, asking the appellate court to set aside the interim restraining order.

The EFCC further informed the appellate court that the lower court lacked the jurisdiction to assist Bello to escape the deserved vengeance of the law, saying that Bello could not use the lower court  to escape invitation, investigation and possible prosecution.

According to ECCC, “Whatever orders made when the court lacks jurisdiction are null and void orders. We therefore most respectfully urge this court to allow this appeal and to set aside the interim orders made by the trial Court on 9th February 2024 in the interest of justice.”

But the hearing of the EFCC’s Appeal over the interim order will also face fierce legal argument as the Kogi High Court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, delivered its substantive judgment in the matter and directed the commission to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal before taking further step against Bello.

The development indicates that the EFCC will have to appeal against the fresh substantive judgement, get the appellate court’s pronouncement before it can proceed with any action against Yahaya Bello.—&gpp_sid=-1&client=ca-pub-5228780540891921&output=html&h=280&adk=3908584181&adf=1662000413&w=758&fwrn=4&fwrnh=100&lmt=1713771597&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=4671932670&ad_type=text_image&format=758×280&!4&btvi=3&fsb=1&dtd=1284

It is instructive to note that Justice Abdullahi had in his latest verdict, held as follows: “Looking at the Orders sought by the applicant (Yahaya Bello), I am inclined to grant them subject to some alterations which in my view will meet the justice of this case, in the following terms;

An order is hereby granted enforcing the fundamental rights of the applicant to liberty and freedom of movement and fair hearing, by restraining the respondent (EFCC) by themselves, their agents, servants or privies from continuing to harass, threaten to arrest or detain or in any manner whatsoever arresting, detaining or prosecuting the applicant on the basis of the criminal charges now pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja to wit; Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022 between FRN v. Ali Bello & Anor, without prejudice to the power of the said Federal High Court, to make any order as it may deem just in the determination of the rights of the applicant and the Respondent as may be submitted to her for consideration and determination.

An order is hereby granted directing the respondent to bring before the said Federal High Court, or any such appropriate court, such criminal charge, allegation or complaint in respect whereof the Applicant is reasonably believed by the Respondent to have committed any offence subject of its jurisdiction, provided that the respondent shall not invite, arrest or detain the applicant on account of a reasonable belief that the applicant has committed any financial crime, without first obtaining the leave of a superior court of record, especially haven regard to the antecedents of the Respondent in the manner it has managed its engagements with the applicant.”


Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *