• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Lawyers protest at Supreme Court, criticise EFCC’s handling of case against Yahaya Bello

IMG-20240422-WA0017

Over 500 lawyers gathered at the Supreme Court on Monday to express their disapproval of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) methods in the case against Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State.

The group, known as judicial watchdogs, challenged the EFCC’s actions at Bello’s residence, where they attempted to arrest him despite a standing court order preventing such an action.

The legal professionals submitted a petition to the National Judicial Council, highlighting the importance of the matter.

Sylvanus K. Alewu, a co-convener of the group, stated that Bello’s rights were violated and the judiciary was being used improperly.

The lawyers called on the NJC and President Bola Tinubu to intervene and prevent further disregard for court orders by the EFCC.

“The current case between the EFCC and Gov. Yahaya is the most heinous of such instances. It is sickening that the commission will move to lay siege and even attempt to arrest the former governor of Kogi state despite being served a valid court order that restrains them from doing so and without vacating the said order,” he said.

Alewu addressed the public, emphasising the need for a judiciary that operates independently and is visibly just. He expressed concern over the negative influence of certain politicians and individuals on the judiciary, which had previously maintained its authority under challenging conditions.

He described the EFCC’s recent actions in Bello’s case as particularly egregious, noting the agency’s defiance of a court order.

Alewu mentioned the EFCC’s reputation for combating corruption and urged Tinubu to ensure the EFCC respects court orders.

“The only succour is that the current president of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a leader who gave his all to sustain our democracy. The president, at a point, became a victim of political with-hunt.

“We have submitted petitions to the Nigerian Judicial Council and Mr. President asking that they use their good offices to call the EFCC to order and stop any form of abuse and disobedience of court orders,“ he said.