Home News EFCC secures court order to arrest Yahaya Bello, prevented by armed men

EFCC secures court order to arrest Yahaya Bello, prevented by armed men

by Business News Report

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was prevented from arresting the former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello by armed policemen and suspected thugs in Abuja. While the policemen who blocked EFCC operatives from fishing out Bello from his house along Benghazi Street Zone 4 Wuse, wore  ‘special forces’ emblem, unknown persons ferried in large number to the place, also frustrated the anti-graft agency from carrying out its mission. The operation was also frustrated the more when the current governor of Kogi arrived on a visit to see his  embattled predecessor with a large contingent of armed security men and police officers. In the end, the EFCC operatives had to withdraw from the house without accomplishing its mission. Apparently frustrated by the failure to arrest Bello, EFCC on Wednesday issued a statement warning against further disruption of its operations by anyone. In the statement by its Spokesman Dele Oyewale the agency expressed anger over the interference of persons with its operations but did not directly mention the days failed attempt to pick up the former Kogi governor.

The statement said “the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission wishes to warn members of the public that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.  Culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years. This warning becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC. On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order. Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness. The Commission, therefore, warns that it will henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such will be met with appropriate punitive actions.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier authorised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apprehend ex-Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State ahead of his scheduled court appearance on Thursday. Justice Emeka Nwite approved the warrant upon the request of the EFCC. The Kogi State High Court had issued a contradictory ruling that prevented the EFCC from taking any action to apprehend, detain, or prosecute the former governor. The Former Governor of Kogi State Abuja residence was besieged by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday morning. The house, located on Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, was cordoned off by officials of the EFCC, causing vehicular traffic on the street. Yahaya Bello, his nephew Ali, one Dauda Sulaiman, and Abdulsalam Hudu have been having issues with the EFCC on allegations of money laundering amounting to N84 billion. The case is before Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja. 

The media aide of the former governor, has however, condemned the actions of the EFCC. In a statement, the aide said the presence of the EFCC operatives in Bello’s residence negated the order of injunction granted on February 9, 2024, by the High Court of Justice, Lokoja Division, in Suit No. HCL/68M/2024 between Yahaya Bello and EFCC. The statement said the court had restrained the commission either by itself or its agents from harassing, arresting, detaining, or prosecuting him, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive fundamental rights enforcement action. “The EFCC was duly served with that order on February 12, 2024, and on February 26, 2024, the EFCC filed an appeal (Appeal No.: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello) against the said order to the Court of Appeal Abuja Division. “The appeal was accompanied by a Motion for a Stay of Execution of the order of the High Court, which the Court of Appeal adjourned for hearing till April 22, 2024,” the statement read.

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