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Former Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello Rejects EFCC’s Latest Offer

by Vicky Oselumese
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Former Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello Rejects EFCC's Offer

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Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, has refused an offer by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to suspend the execution of an arrest warrant issued against him. The warrant was issued on April 17 by a Federal High Court in Abuja. Bello’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), argued before the court that the offer made by EFCC’s Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) was not acceptable to his client as it is not recognized by law.

EFCC’s Offer and Response

Kemi Pinheiro, representing the EFCC, proposed that the arrest order would not be executed if Bello’s lawyers could guarantee their client’s physical presence in court on the next adjourned date. Adedipe, in response, stated that they cannot accept the offer as it is not legally binding.

Substituted Service and Objections

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the EFCC’s application for the service of the charge on Bello through substituted means. Bello’s lawyer objected to the substituted service, but the objection was overruled by the court. The charge and accompanying documents were then handed to Bello’s lead lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN). Adedipe subsequently applied for the warrant of arrest to be vacated, citing the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). However, Pinheiro objected, stating that the court cannot hear any applications filed by the defendant until he has been arraigned.

Arguments and Rulings

The EFCC lawyer argued that the defendant’s applications can only be heard after his arraignment, in accordance with the ACJA. Adedipe and Mohammed, on the other hand, argued that the court should exercise its inherent powers to hear the applications. Mohammed also raised objections to the jurisdiction of the court, stating that the EFCC is an illegal body. Pinheiro countered these arguments, asserting that the legality of the EFCC had already been resolved. The case against Bello involves allegations of money laundering and the misappropriation of public funds.

The court has adjourned the case until May 10 for a ruling.

This article was updated 4 weeks ago

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