N80billion Fraud: Court Orders EFCC To Serve Charge On Fleeing Ex-Governor, Yahaya Bello On Lawyer

Elishabawa 1 month ago 0 19

In the adjudication by Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the matter concerning the arraignment of the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, the court directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to effect the service of the 19 criminal count charge upon his legal representative. This directive emanated due to Mr. Bello’s absence during the scheduled court proceedings, and was grounded upon the provisions delineated in Section 382(4) and (5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.

The presiding judge, Justice Nwite, further clarified that in scenarios where traditional methods of serving legal processes on a defendant prove impractical, recourse to alternative means, such as delivery to legal counsel or any adult member of the defendant’s household, is permissible under the law. This direction was issued acknowledging Mr. Bello’s engagement of legal representation, despite his non-appearance in court.

Consequently, Justice Nwite mandated the EFCC to seek leave of the court for the delivery of court documents to Mr. Bello’s lawyer, Mr. Abdulwab Mohammed, SAN. Upholding the fundamental requirement of service of court processes on a defendant as essential for vesting the court with jurisdiction, Justice Nwite underscored the imperative of ensuring effective service to safeguard against potential challenges to the court’s decisions.

In light of the court’s ruling, Mr. Mohammed, SAN, though initially hesitant, was compelled to receive the charge on behalf of his client, Mr. Bello. Newnaija earlier disclosure on April 18 detailed the filing of a 19-count criminal charge against Mr. Bello by the EFCC, implicating him in offenses related to criminal breach of trust and money laundering. The charges, encapsulated in the document filed at the Federal High Court 9, underscored the seriousness of the allegations against Mr. Bello, including accusations of misappropriation of substantial sums of public funds and involvement in money laundering schemes.

These legal developments underscore the gravity of the accusations against Mr. Bello and the imperative of adherence to due process in legal proceedings.

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