Court postpones arraignment of Yahaya Bello on fraud charges - Ripples Nigeria
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Court postpones arraignment of Yahaya Bello on fraud charges

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A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, posponed the scheduled arraignment of former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello on charges of N80.2 billion fraud.

The arraignment has now been shifted to June 27th, 2024.

The adjournment followed the absence of the lead counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Kemi Pinhero, SAN, in court.

Pinhero, SAN, was said to had earlier notified the defence lawyers that he would not be able to make it to court and accordingly requested a new date to be set for the defendant to enter his plea to the 19-count charge the anti-graft agency preferred against him.

In view of the situation, the parties agreed to send junior lawyers to the court to set a new date for the proposed arraignment.

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However, when the matter was called up before trial Justice Emeka Nwite, another senior prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, announced his appearance for the EFCC and expressed the readiness of his team to proceed with the case.

Miffed by the development, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, SAN, informed the court of the agreement that was earlier reached by the parties, which he said explained the absence of the former governor at the proceeding.

Adedipe, SAN, insisted that the request for the matter to be adjourned, was at the instance of the prosecution.

He argued that under Section 266 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, it was not a requirement for the defendant to be present in court when the essence of the proceeding was for parties to take a fresh date.

After he had listened to both sides, Justice Nwite agreed to shift the arraignment to a later date.

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