• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Bello Vs EFCC: Court orders arrest despite restraining order

Yahaya Bello: A white lion or a big cat?

Confusion ensued at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday as the court issued an order for the arrest of former governor Yahaya Bello for arraignment on Thursday, despite a substantive judgement from a Kogi State High Court earlier in the day.

The Kogi State High Court had issued a restraining order against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from harassing, detaining, or prosecuting Bello.

Justice I.A Jamil of High Court IV delivered the two-hour judgement in suit no HCL/68/M/2020 in Lokoja around 12pm Wednesday, stating, “By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining, and prosecuting the applicant.”

However, in an unusual move, the Federal High Court, which shares jurisdiction, ordered the arrest of Bello for arraignment the following day, despite the existing restraining order and court judgement against such action.

The EFCC had appealed against the initial order, with the appeal 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 issued the order for arrest, cited the EFCC’s authority to arrest with or without a warrant according to its establishing Act. He noted that the EFCC had made attempts to serve notice of arraignment.

The Yahaya Bello Media Office, represented by Onogwu Mohammed, had earlier issued a statement alerting the public to a siege on the former governor’s residence in Abuja.