Nigeria: Yahaya Bello Loses Bid to Transfer N80bn Fraud Case to Kogi

Yahaya Bello, the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, has lost his bid to have his N80.2 billion fraud trial transferred from Abuja to Kogi State. Bello’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), had urged the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to transfer the case to the Kogi division of the court, arguing that it had territorial jurisdiction over the matter. 

However, the lead prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), opposed the request, arguing that Bello had failed to appear in court despite an undertaking by his lawyers to produce him. The EFCC has declared Bello wanted in relation to the N80.2 billion fraud case, but he has not been arrested.

 The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has criticized the EFCC for failing to arrest Bello and has called on the EFCC chairman to either arrest Bello or resign. The court has adjourned the matter to July 17 to rule on whether the case will be transferred to Kogi State and whether Bello’s lawyers should be held in contempt of court for failing to produce him as promised

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