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Alleged money laundering: Yahaya Bello’s absence stalls arraignment

The Federal High Court in Abuja, Thursday, fixed June 27, 2024 for hearing in the alleged money laundering case instituted by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello.

The date was fixed at the instance of the EFCC counsels.

EFCC abandoned its earlier request for a change in the date of arraignment of former Governor Yahaya Bello from June 13 to June 27, without informing the defendants’ lawyers.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Counsel to Governor Bello, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, told the court that the EFCC lawyers approached Aliyu AbdulWahab SAN, who is the counsel for the defendant, that the June 13 date would not be convenient for them to proceed and that Wahab had to agree by way of convenience for another date to be set.

Although the lead prosecution, Rotimi Oyedepo was in court.

Adedipe said, “They (EFCC) agreed that junior counsel would be sent to court today to formally pick a date. And the registry can confirm this,” Adedipe said.

“Kemi Pinhero SAN has been calling us to say today is not convenient,” he added.

Kemi Pinhero is the lead counsel.

But for the decision of the EFCC to seek an adjournment to a future date for his arraignment, Governor Yahaya Bello, was said to be ready to appear in court today.

“Under 266 ACJA there are instances when defendants don’t need to come and this is one of them.

“We came here to pick a date. Of what use will the defendant coming here be? It is the prosecuting counsel that approached us, we did not approach them. We have nothing to hide,” Adedipe noted.

The court has fixed June 27 as new date for the arraignment.

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