"You Cannot Hide Forever": EFCC Serves Yahaya Bello's Lawyer N80.2b Fraud Charges

"You Cannot Hide Forever": EFCC Serves Yahaya Bello's Lawyer N80.2b Fraud Charges

  • The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has officially notified the fugitive former Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, of the charges against him through his legal representative
  • Bello, who has avoided public appearances, fearing apprehension by the relentless anti-graft agency, has not made a physical appearance in court
  • His lawyer has requested the rescinding of the arrest warrant for Bello until the court determines the validity of the alleged crimes

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has presented a former governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, with a list of charges as ordered by the court.

Despite being declared wanted, Bello was not present in court when his counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), petitioned for the rescinding of the arrest warrant issued by the EFCC and obtained from the Federal High Court.

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Yahaya Bello and EFCC boss Ola Olukoyede
EFCC asked court to discard any request from Bello's lawyers until he presents himself in court Image: X/@officialGYBkogi EFCC
Source: Facebook

The anti-corruption agency has widely publicised Bello's status as a wanted person across various media platforms.

The court ruling was announced on EFCC's official X handle in a post on Tuesday, April 23.

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Adedipe argued before the court that it is improper to arrest someone before they have been officially indicted and convicted.

He said:

"The court is expected to do justice at all times. A warrant of arrest cannot be hanging on Bello's neck when we are in this court. It appears to us that the defendant will not get justice because the court granted a warrant of arrest before service"

The court ruled that the ex-governor should receive his charges through his counsel, as he has consistently failed to appear in person since the commencement of the case.

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The anti-graft agency urged the court to dismiss the appeal, alleging it was a deliberate attempt to hinder the start of the main trial.

The EFCC prosecuting counsel, Kemi Piniero (SAN), stressed to the court the severity of the criminal offense, with the accused facing charges amounting to a staggering N80.2 billion.

The commission requested the court not to entertain any requests from the defendant until the former governor appears in court in person..

He said:

"The stage we are in now is to determine the whereabouts of the defendant. He cannot be in his house while the trial proceeds without him coming here to take his plea. My Lord, this is a criminal matter not a civil matter, he must come and take his plea. It is a matter of over N80 billion. All these applications by the defendant are to prevent his arraignment and frustrate the commencement of trial"

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The judge, after hearing arguments from both parties, adjourned the hearing until May 10.

"We will not relent": EFCC sends message to Bello

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the EFCC informed Yahaya Bello that it would not back down in its pursuit to have the former governor in custody.

The commission's boss, Ola Olukoyede, stated that he would use all his might to bring the defendant, who had been evading capture, to book.

Source: Legit.ng

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