SEE ALL TEMPLATES

We have moved all templates to this collection page. It includes All Resume and Cover Letter Templates, Business Plan Templates, Invoice Templates and More...

SEE ALL TEMPLATES

We have moved all templates to this collection page. It includes All Resume and Cover Letter Templates, Business Plan Templates, Invoice Templates and More...

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

EFCC Chair summoned to court for alleged contempt in relation to attempt to arrest Yahaya Bello

Must Read

Advertisement

The Kogi State High Court in Lokoja, on Friday, ordered the chairperson of the EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, to appear before it on 13 May to show why he should not be jailed for allegedly disobeying its order.

The judge, I.A. Jamil, gave the order in a ruling in a suit marked, HCL/68M/2024, brought before him by former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.

Advertisement

Mr Bello’s application initiating a contempt charge against the EFCC chair is part of the ex-governor’s efforts to stop his arraignment and trial on N80 billion money laundering charges instituted against him after he left office as governor in January.

In his application, Mr Bello accused Mr Olukoyede of committing contempt by allegedly violating the court’s order barring the EFCC from arresting him.

The EFCC recently charged Mr Bello at the Federal High Court in Abuja with money laundering involving over N80 billion .

Advertisement

But the anti-graft agency has not been able to arraign him due to his absence from court.

Mr Bello resisted arrest on 17 February when operatives of the commission attempted to execute a controversial arrest warrant against him at his residence in Abuja.

Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility

At Premium Times, we firmly believe in the importance of high-quality journalism. Recognizing that not everyone can afford costly news subscriptions, we are dedicated to delivering meticulously researched, fact-checked news that remains freely accessible to all.

Whether you turn to Newslodgefor daily updates, in-depth investigations into pressing national issues, or entertaining trending stories, we value your readership.

Advertisement

It’s essential to acknowledge that news production incurs expenses, and we take pride in never placing our stories behind a prohibitive paywall.

Would you consider supporting us with a modest contribution on a monthly basis to help maintain our commitment to free, accessible news? 

Support Now
x
Do this later

“The said act was carried out by the Respondent (EFCC) in violation of the order, which was valid and subsisting when they carried out the act.

“That same act of the respondent amounts to contempt,” the judge said in his ruling in the contempt proceedings on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC boss is facing a contempt charge for allegedly carrying out “some acts upon which they (the EFCC) have been restrained” by the court on 9 February pending the determination of the substantive originating motion.

The court order was based on a motion ex-parte filed by Mr Bello through his lawyer, M.S. Yusuf.

Mr Bello prayed the court for an order to issue and serve the respondent (EFCCchairman) with Form 49 Notice to show cause why Order of Committal should not be made on Mr Olukoyede.

“After listening to the arguments of the applicant’s counsel, the submission and exhibits attached in the written address, granted Bello’s prayers and ordered Olukoyede to be summoned to appear before the court to answer the contempt charge.

“The applicant’s application before me is to the effect that the respondent has carried out some acts upon which they have been restrained by this court on Feb. 9, pending the determination of the substantive motion on notice before this court.

“That the said act was carried out by the respondent in violation of the order which was valid and subsisting when they carried out those acts. That same act of the respondent amounts to act of contempt.

“It’s against the above facts that this Court hereby grants the prayers sought in line with the principle of ‘Audi Ultra Patem’ (listen to the other side).

“This matter is adjourned to 13 May for the respondent’s chairman to appear before this court in answer to form 49 ordered to be served on him,” reads an enrolled order of the court seen by NAN.

Stalled arraignment

Mr Bello was absent in court for his arraignment on the pending N80 billion money laundering charges on two occasions – 18 and 23 April.

At the 23 April proceedings, the court  issued an order of substituted service, permitting the EFCC to serve the defendant through his lawyer.

The anti-graft agency has denied violating any court order with its moves to arrest and arraign Mr Bello.

It argues that its move to arrest and arraign Mr Bello was based on the warrant of arrest the Federal High Court in Abuja issued on 17 April.

The agency also argues that the order issued in favor of Mr Bello by the Kogi State High Court in a fundamental enforcement suit does not preclude him from being prosecuted for crimes he allegedly committed.

Not the first time

This is not the first contempt case Mr Bello’s camp would be filing to fight off EFCC’s criminal case.

In February 2023, a judge of the Kogi State High Court, Rukayat Ayoola, jailed Mr Olukoyede’s predecessor, Abdulrasheed Bawa for 14 days, at the instance of Yahaya Bello’s nephew, Ali Bello, who accused Mr Bawa of disobeying a court order.

The younger Ali alleged that Mr Bawa violated a court ruling and committed contempt by arraigning him on 15 December 2022 against an earlier court order made on 12 December 2022.

Mr Ali Bello is currently facing N10 billion fraud charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Mr Bawa never served the jailed time imposed by the court.

He and the EFCC subsequently appealed against the jailing.

(NAN)

Advertisement

Latest News

Live performances of the top 10 finalists

On the latest episode of Nigerian Idol aired on Sunday night, host IK revealed the contestant who secured the...

More Articles Like This