• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Contempt: Appeal Court grants EFCC’s exparte motion for stay of proceedings, fixes May 20 for hearing

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The Appeal Court has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) request for a temporary halt on the contempt proceedings initiated by Yahaya Bello, the ex-Kogi State governor, against Ola Olukoyede, chairman of the commission.

Joseph O.K. Oyewole, the presiding judge, allowed the EFCC to notify the former governor through alternative means regarding the appeal process. The court has scheduled the next hearing for May 20, 2024.

Previously, the EFCC chairman was directed to present himself at the Kogi State High Court on May 13, 2024, to explain why he should not be imprisoned for defying the court’s orders. He challenged the lower court’s decision and requested the suspension of its proceedings.

The charge of contempt against the EFCC head stems from actions taken by the agency, which had been prohibited by a court order issued on February 9, 2024, until the main motion was resolved.

Justice I. A. Jamil, in his verdict for Suit No: HCL/68M/2024 and Motion No: HCL/190M/2024, declared that the EFCC’s actions were in direct violation of an active court order, constituting contempt.

On April 17, 2024, EFCC agents surrounded Bello’s residence in Abuja with the intention of arresting him, despite a judicial directive to refrain from such measures until the original motion was decided.

The order from Justice Jamil was in response to an ex-parte motion submitted by Yahaya Bello through his attorney, M.S. Yusuf, Esq., seeking a directive to serve Olukoyede with a Form 49 Notice, questioning why he should not be held in contempt.