BREAKING: Court Issues ‘Fresh’ Decree On Yahaya Bello’s Criminal Case

BREAKING: Court Issues 'Fresh' Decree On Yahaya Bello's Criminal Case

The Federal High Court in Abuja has strongly criticized the immediate former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for his alleged efforts to obstruct the ongoing criminal case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a recent ruling, Justice Emeka Nwite, reiterated the court’s previous order from April 17, instructing security agencies to apprehend and present Bello before the court to address the 19-count charge pending against him.

The court found that the ex-governor’s actions of instructing lawyers to contest its jurisdiction while evading authorities demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the court.

It stressed that by filing the application, Bello was indicating his unwillingness to participate in the trial, and should have surrendered himself upon being informed of the arrest warrant.

Justice Nwite said: “The law is settled that he who disobeyed an order of court and shown disrespect to the court cannot expect a favourable discretion of the court.

“The honourable thing the defendant would have done was to obey the order of court by making himself available.

“Section 287 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, mandates all persons and authority to give effect to orders of court.

“He has wilfully disobeyed the order of this court. An order of court of competent jurisdiction, no matter how it was obtained, subsists until it is set aside.

“A party who refuses to obey an order of court after becoming aware of it is in contempt of court.

“He is not entitled to be heard or granted a favourable discretion. The refusal of the defendant to make himself available is solely to truncate the arraignment and prevent the court from proceeding further in this case.

“Refusal of the defendant to make himself available in an attempt to truncate this court and make it practically impossible for the court to assume jurisdiction in this criminal trial.

“He ought to make himself available. He cannot sit in the comfort of his home to file applications before this court.

“The defendant has no atom or regard for the court. Clearly, the defendant is taking this court for granted.”

Justice Nwite further held that the Supreme Court had previously condemned Bello’s decision to treat the court’s order with levity.

“In view of the foregoing analysis, I am of the view, and I so hold, that no application can be moved or heard unless the defendant is present before the court to take his plea,” the trial judge held.

Naija News reports that Bello, who governed Kogi state for a span of eight years, is currently confronted with charges related to his purported involvement in money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of public funds amounting to approximately N80.2 billion.

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