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Court Orders EFCC to Serve Charge On Yahaya Bello’s Lawyer

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja has instructed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to deliver a copy of the charges against Yahaya Bello, the former governor of Kogi State, to his lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohamed.

This decision came after Bello failed to appear in court for his arraignment on Tuesday, for a 19-count charge of alleged money laundering totalling ₦84 billion.

Citing section 384 (4 and 5) of the Administrative and Criminal Justice Act 2015, the judge directed Bello’s counsel to receive the charge on his behalf, stating that when personal service of a legal process on a defendant becomes impossible, substituted means are permissible.

Justice Nwite further held that it was obvious that the former governor failed to appear in court for his arraignment.

Despite initial resistance from Bello’s lawyer, he was compelled by Justice Nwite to accept the charges and proof of evidence.

The judge rejected the request for a junior lawyer to accept the charges on behalf of the former governor.

Following allegations of N80bn fraud, Justice Nwite, last week, issued an arrest warrant against Bello as requested by the EFCC. Subsequently, the EFCC declared the former governor wanted due to his continuous failure to appear in court and evasion of the criminal charges.

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