We’ll Not Arrest You If You Show Up In Court – EFCC Assures Yahaya Bello

Yahaya Bello vs EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has proposed to set aside the arrest warrant issued against the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello if he agrees to appear in court.

Naijaonpoint reports that the anti-graft agency made the commitment during a hearing at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.

EFCC counsel Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) responded to concerns raised by Bello’s lawyer, Mr. Adeola Adedipe (SAN), who argued that his client was apprehensive about appearing due to the existing arrest warrant.

Pinheiro stated, “As his prosecution, I will personally apply that the arrest warrant be set aside if he comes to court next adjourned date. If he gives an undertaking that his client will be in court on the next date, I can assure him that the arrest warrant will not be executed.”

Yahaya Bello, who was once again absent from his scheduled arraignment, is facing a 19-count charge involving allegations of money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds amounting to N80.2 billion.

The situation in court escalated when Adedipe requested Justice Emeka Nwite to rescind the exparte order of arrest issued against Bello last week.

He contended that his client had not been served with the charge as legally required when the arrest warrant was issued, noting, “As at the time the warrant was issued, the order for substituted service had not been made. That order was just made this morning.”

However, Pinheiro urged the court to deny the application and set aside the arrest warrant unless Bello made himself available for trial. He emphasized that Bello should not be allowed to use legal tactics to avoid facing his charges.

“The defendant cannot stay in hiding and file numerous applications for his arrest warrant to be vacated,” Pinheiro argued.

He further insisted that the court cannot effectively exercise jurisdiction over any application or objection in the matter until the defendant is formally arraigned, as per section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

Justice Nwite, who is presiding over the case, has yet to decide on the request to vacate the arrest warrant. The EFCC maintains that Bello’s physical presence in court is essential for the proceedings to continue effectively and without further delay.

&copy 2024 Naijaonpoint, a division of NOP Media Inc.