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I’m willing to appear in court but afraid of arrest, says Yahaya Bello

Yahaya Bello, Kogi State’s former governor, had said he was willing to appear in court but fear of arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been the reason for his failure to appear.

Yahaya-Bello, former governor of Kogi State
Yahaya-Bello, former governor of Kogi State

Abuja, Nigeria

Yahaya Bello, Kogi State’s former governor, had said he was willing to appear in court but fear of arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been the reason for his failure to appear.

Bello spoke through his legal team in court.

The anti-graft agency has set the stage to arraign the former governor on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

Bello’s arraignment on April 18 failed because he was absent from court.

During the court session, Adeola Adedipe from Bello’s legal team, said his client would have appeared in court but was worried about being taken into custody.

“The defendant wants to come to court but he is afraid that there is an order of arrest hanging on his head,” Adedipe said.

Adedipe asked the court to revoke the warrant of arrest issued against the former on April 17.

In his argument, he said the charge had not been served on his client as required by law at the time the warrant of arrest was made.

“As at the time the warrant was issued, the order for substituted service had not been made. That order was just made this morning,” he said.

“A warrant of arrest should not be hanging on his neck when we leave this court,” counsel to the defendant added.

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

Earlier, Emeka Nwite, the presiding judge, made an order directing that the defendant should be served the charges by substituted means through his lawyers.

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