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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Court stops EFCC from arresting, prosecuting Yahaya Bello

By News Desk

Minutes after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed attempts to arrest former Kogi State Governor, Yayaha Bello, a High Court sitting in Lokoja, the state capital, has restrained the anti-graft agency from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the immediate past governor over alleged financial improprieties.

It ruled that except otherwise, the anti-corruption agency should desist from going after the former governor over any allegations bordering on his tenure in Kogi State.

This came after a Federal High Court, in Abuja approved the EFCC appeal to arrest the Ex-Governor immediately for arraignment in court.

In a ruling delivered on Wednesday, at the court which was presided over by Justice I. A Jami of court 4, the judge made the definite order based on the interim injunction given received by the ex-governor.

In the suit, no HCL/68/M/2020 brought by the former Governor, the judge after two hours restrained the respondents from continuing to persecute the Applicant.

Earlier in the judgement, the Court dismissed the issue of jurisdiction as challenged by the EFCC.

The Applicant’s counsel, S. A Abbas and MS Yusuf, who spoke with newsmen shortly after the judgment described the judgment as a landmark while the defendant’s Counsel, T.U Odima and Patrick O. Jibril also aligned themselves with the judgment, describing it as “thorough.”

The failed arrest was carried out by the EFCC in spite of an existing restraining order and a court judgment against such.

The EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22. (Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello).

Justice Emeka Nwite, who gave the order of arrest on Wednesday said that by the Act establishing the EFCC, it had the power to arrest with or without warrant of arrest.

He said that the EFCC “had tried” to serve him with notice of arraignment

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