• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Yahaya Bello absent in court as EFCC mulls military option for his arrest


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday informed the Federal High Court in Abuja of its commitment to arrest and prosecute Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, for his involvement in money laundering.

The agency intends to carry out the arrest warrant issued for the former governor, potentially involving the military if necessary.

In court, the EFCC’s legal team, led by Kemi Pinhero, expressed concern over Bello’s absence at his scheduled arraignment.

The EFCC reported that attempts to arrest Bello on Wednesday to present him for his plea were obstructed by the governor of Kogi, Usman Ododo, who whisked him away in his vehicle.

The agency’s counsel stated that they would take necessary actions, including military assistance, to ensure compliance with section 287 of the constitution.

The counsel referenced a former U.S. president’s court appearances, suggesting that Bello should defend himself in court rather than submit applications that delay the trial.

Despite Bello’s absence, his legal team, led by Abdulwahab Mohammed, requested the court to cancel the arrest warrant, which they claim was improperly obtained.

Justice Emeka Nwite, upon hearing the case, inquired about Bello’s location.

Mohammed responded that Bello had obtained a Kogi State High Court order on February 9, preventing the EFCC from inviting, arresting, or prosecuting him regarding the current charges.

Although the EFCC has appealed this order, they proceeded to file charges against Bello, disregarding the existing court order.

Mohammed informed the court that Bello filed a preliminary objection questioning the legal basis for his arraignment and trial.