Yahaya Bello seeks transfer of EFCC case to Kogi state

The former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has requested the transfer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s case against him to Kogi State. 

Bello argues that since the alleged offense occurred during his tenure as governor of the state, it is appropriate for the legal proceedings to be conducted there.

The EFCC has been investigating Bello over allegations of financial misconduct and misuse of public funds during his time in office.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had set aside the contempt proceedings instituted by the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, against the Chairman of the EFCC, Olanipekun Olukoyede.

The Court of Appeal had granted an ex parte motion for stay of proceedings of contempt application against Olukoyede by Bello.

The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Joseph O.K. Oyewole consequently granted the EFCC’s application to serve the processes in the appeal by substituted means on the former governor.

Oyewole was assisted by Hon Justice P. C. Obiora JCA and Hon. Justice Okon Abang JCA.

Olukoyede was summoned to appear before the Kogi State High Court in May to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying its orders following the siege laid to the former governor’s Abuja home after the court ruled in favour of Bello in the fundamental human rights suits he filed before the court.

The EFCC boss, however, appealed the ruling of the trial court and sought a stay of the proceedings of the court.

The Kogi State High Court based its ruling on the premise that the EFCC chair carried out “some acts upon which they (the EFCC) have been restrained” by the Court on February 9, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion.

However, in a unanimous judgment on Thursday, the three-man panel of justices; Justice A.M. Talba, Justice D. Z. Senchi, and Justice Joseph Oyewole, set aside the proceedings.

While delivering the lead judgment, justice Oyewole, overruled the respondent’s preliminary objection, citing technicalities.

The appellate court said the high court judge failed to extend the orders of February 9, 2024 in its final judgment of April 17, 2024, adding that the second issue raised by the respondent on the interim order, had become an academic exercise.