Ex-Kogi Gov, Yahaya Bello, absent in court for arraignment, judge orders service on lawyer - Ripples Nigeria
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Ex-Kogi Gov, Yahaya Bello, absent in court for arraignment, judge orders service on lawyer



Yahaya Bello

In a significant development, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to serve charges of alleged fraud on the lawyer representing Yahaya Bello, the immediate past governor of Kogi State.

The charges pertain to a staggering ₦84 billion ($187 million USD) alleged fraud case.

This move comes amidst ongoing investigations by the EFCC into the financial dealings of the Bello administration during his two terms as governor (2016-2024).

The court order to serve charges on Governor Bello’s lawyer suggests that the EFCC has gathered enough evidence to proceed with a formal case.

Justice Nwite ordered the EFCC to serve a copy of the charge against Bello, on his lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohamed.

READ ALSO:EFCC declares Yahaya Bello wanted for alleged N80.2bn fraud

This followed the absence of Bello in court for his arraignment on Tuesday. He was absent from court for his arraignment on a 19-count charge of alleged money laundering to the tune of ₦84bn.

The judge relied on section 384 (4 and 5) of the Administrative and Criminal Justice Act 2015, directing the counsel to the immediate past governor, to receive a copy of the charge.

The court held that where it had become impossible to effect personal service of a legal process on a defendant, such could be done through substituted means.

Justice Nwite further held that it was clear that the former governor failed to appear in court for his arraignment.

Although Bello’s lawyer, Mohammed, initially declined to accept the charges and proof of evidence, he was compelled to do so by Justice Nwite.

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