Yahaya Bello: Appeal Court fails to hear EFCC’s suit against order restraining ex-Gov’s arrest

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Hearing on the appeal instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against an interim order of the Kogi State High Court restraining the Commission from arresting, detaining, harassing or prosecuting Yahaya Bello, pending the determination of the substantive originating motion for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, suffered a setback on Monday, as the Court of Appeal failed to sit.

The appropriateness of the siege on Bello’s residence by operatives of the Commission last Wednesday had elicited a heated debate across the country, particularly with the realisation that there had been a restraining order against such action, which had not been vacated as of the time of such action.

The EFCC had appealed the order on March 11, 2024 and sought for a stay of execution in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello. The Court of Appeal did not grant the stay of execution but fixed Monday, April 22 for hearing.

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However, the Kogi High Court, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, had delivered its substantive judgment in the matter and directed the commission to seek the leave of a superior court before taking further step against Bello. The judgment was read at about 12pm.

As at about 8am, when EFCC laid siege on Bello’s Abuja residence, the interim injunction, which restrained them from arresting or harassing him, among others, was still subsisting.

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Justice Isa Abdullahi had, in his latest verdict, held: “Looking at the Orders sought by the applicant (Yahaya Bello), I am inclined to grant them subject to some alterations which in my view will meet the justice of this case, in the following terms;
1. An Order is hereby granted enforcing the Fundamental Rights of the applicant to liberty and freedom of movement and fair hearing, by restraining the Respondent (EFCC) by themselves, their agents, servants or privies from continuing to harass, threaten to arrest or detain or in any manner whatsoever arresting, detaining or prosecuting the Applicant on the basis of the criminal Charges now pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja to wit; Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022 between FRN v. Ali Bello & Anor, without prejudice to the power of the said Federal High Court, to make any Order as it may deem just in the determination of the rights of the Applicant and the Respondent as may be submitted to her for consideration and determination.

 

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READ ALSO: Bobrisky’s masque, Yahaya Bello’s boa, By Lasisi Olagunju 

 

 

2. An Order is hereby granted directing the Respondent to bring before the said Federal High Court, or any such appropriate Court, such criminal Charge, allegation or Complaint in respect whereof the Applicant is reasonably believed by the Respondent to have committed any offence subject of its jurisdiction, provided that the Respondent shall not invite, arrest or detain the Applicant on account of a reasonable belief that the Applicant has committed any financial crime, without first obtaining the leave of a superior Court of Record, especially haven regard to the antecedents of the Respondent in the manner it has managed its engagements with the Applicant.”

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