Yahaya Bello absent in court again over alleged N80.2 billion fraud

The defendant did not show up, resulting in an argument between the lawyers of the parties involved

Former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has continuously failed to appear in court for his trial on charges of N80.2 billion fraud instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Bello was scheduled to be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on a 19-count charge, as revealed on the court’s cause list for today.
However, the defendant did not show up, resulting in an argument between the lawyers of the parties involved.
A new date, June 27, has reportedly been fixed for the hearing of the alleged money laundering case at the instance of the EFCC’s lawyers.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Bello’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, informed the court that EFCC lawyers had approached Aliyu AbdulWahab, SAN, the defendant’s counsel, stating that the June 13 date would not be convenient for them and that Wahab agreed to set another date for convenience.
Adedipe expressed surprise when he learned that EFCC lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo was present in court.
“They (EFCC) agreed that junior counsel would be sent to court today to formally pick a date. And the registry can confirm this,” Adedipe said.
“Kemi Pinhero, SAN, has been calling us to say today is not convenient,” he added. Kemi Pinhero is the lead counsel.
But for the decision of the EFCC to seek an adjournment to a future date for his arraignment, Bello was said to be ready to appear in court on Thursday.

“Under 266 ACJA there are instances when defendants don’t need to come and this is one of them.
“We came here to pick a date. Of what use will the defendant coming here be? It is the prosecuting counsel that approached us, we did not approach them. We have nothing to hide,” Adedipe noted.