JUDICIARY

Stop Disregarding the Court, Appear to Defend Yourself of Allegations – Group Tells Bello

 

As the lingering case of allegation of

N80.2 billion fraud against the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) resumes next Thursday, an Abuja-based civil group, Vanguard for Credible Representation (VCR) has urged Bello to stop disregarding the court and appear once and for all, to defend himself.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted the application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the former governor to appear in court for his trial. This is as Bello has also filed an application to vacate the warrant of arrest granted against him by the court.

But, Justice Emeka Nwite held that Bello ought to appear before the court before making any application. He therefore adjourned the case to June 13, 2024. Justice Emeka Nwite, in the ruling, insisted that even if the arrest warrant was illegally obtained, the defendant (Bello) should have still shown up in court.

He said that the order of court subsisted until it is set aside, even if there is irregularity. The judge said Yahaya Bello’s staying away amounted to disregard to the sanctity of the court. “Bello should come to court in his own not through EFCC for arraignment on the next adjourned date,” the judge declared.

Yahaya’s lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN), had assured the court that “efforts would be made to contact the former governor to appear in court on the next adjourned date.

In the group’s release, the Coordinator, Akinloye Oyeniyi, said: “We recall that this matter has generated so much unnecessary and unneeded brouhaha. This is a simple case of allegations and clearance of oneself. But here we are seeing the court almost begging the defendant to come to court despite its earlier ruling. This is terrible and uncalled for.”

The group urged Bello to use the opportunity of the next adjourned day of June 13, 2024, to appear and clear all doubts about his integrity and respect for the judiciary.

“Like other Nigerians, groups and the court, we are also joining the chorus to ask Alhaji Yahaya Bello to appear before the court to clear his name, which is very necessary. We cannot be handling issues of this nature in the media and gossip centres. This is a serious matter and everyone should be involved to lay the matter to rest,” Oyeniyi said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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