Alleged N80.2 fraud: EFCC serves Yahaya Bello charges through his lawyer

Former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello was on Tuesday, served his charges through his counsel, Abdulwahab Muhammad, SAN, in compliance with an order of the court.
Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, had ruled that the defendant should be served through his counsel, especially as he failed to appear before the court, yet again.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  is prosecuting  Bello alongside his Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80.246billion.
At Tuesday’s sitting, Bello’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, prayed the court to quash the arrest warrant granted the Commission against Bello, arguing that Tuesday’s substituted service to the defendant through his counsel  Muhammad, SAN, has invalidated the arrest warrant.
“The court is expected to do justice at all times. A warrant of arrest cannot be hanging on Bello’s neck when we are in this court. It appears to us that the defendant will not get justice because the court granted a warrant of arrest before service,” he said.
However, prosecution counsel, Kemi Piniero, SAN, in response, urged the court to decline hearing on any motion from Bello’s legal team until the defendant is physically present in court for his arraignment.
“The stage we are in now is to determine the whereabouts of the defendant.
“He cannot be in his house while the trial proceeds without him coming here to take his plea. My Lord, this is a criminal matter not a civil matter, he must come and take his plea.
“It is a matter of over N80 billion. All these applications by the defendant are to prevent his arraignment and frustrate the commencement of trial,” he said.
After hearing both counsels, Justice Nwite adjourned ruling on the defence’s application, seeking a revocation of the arrest warrant on Bello till May 10, 2024.

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