Court to rule on Yahaya Bello’s arrest warrant challenge May 10

A Federal High Court in Abuja fixed May 10 for ruling on an application by former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, seeking an order to set aside the April 17 arrest warrant issued against him.

Justice Emeka Nwite set the date after counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, and the ex-governor’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, adopted their processes and presented their arguments in the motion.

On April 17, Justice Nwite issued an arrest warrant for Bello at the request of the lawyer representing the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN.

The EFCC also applied for a substituted service of its bundle of charges and proof of evidence against Bello on April 18, after the ex-governor’s lead lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, declined to receive the documents in open court.

After directing the EFCC to serve the documents on Mohammed, who had announced an unconditional appearance for Bello, Adedipe prayed the court to set aside the arrest warrant.

ALSO READ: Yahaya Bello: Obey Court order now, Kogi Assembly tells EFCC

He argued that the arrest warrant, issued before the charge, should be set aside suo motu.

Contrary to Pinheiro’s submission that Bello must be in court before any application could be entertained in a criminal case, Adedipe pointed out that the EFCC made an application on April 18, after the arrest warrant was issued on April 17, and the court granted it.

Adeola argued that justice should be a three-way traffic, serving the prosecution, the defendant, and the public.

He stated that for Bello to appear in court, he must have confidence in receiving justice.

However, Pinheiro argued that for the arrest warrant to be vacated, the former governor must be arraigned and take his plea.


Tribune Online