Home News Court Reschedules Yahaya Bello’s N80bn Money Laundering Trial For The Fourth Time

Court Reschedules Yahaya Bello’s N80bn Money Laundering Trial For The Fourth Time

Court Reschedules Yahaya Bello's N80bn Money Laundering Trial for the Fourth Time
"Embatled" Yahaya Bello

A Federal High Court in Abuja has rescheduled the arraignment of the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on N80.2 billion money laundering charges.

According to a statement issued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Emeka Nwite, on Thursday, adjourned the arraignment until 27th June 2024.

Bello, who left office on January 27, 2024, is facing a 19-count money laundering charge filed against him by the EFCC, including the allegation of using state funds to pay his children’s 10 years education in advance.

Following the EFCC’s lawsuit, Bello’s repeated absence from court has resulted in stalled arraignment, starting 18 April, 23 April, and 10 May.

On April 17, 2024, the judge issued an arrest warrant for Bello, an attempted arrest that was obstructed by the police officers attached to his house at Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

EFCC declared him wanted, yet on 23rd April, Bello failed to sit for the second appearance in court. The judge permitted EFCC to serve him through substituted means.

Judge Nwite directed the EFCC prosecutor, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), to serve Bello through his defence lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohammed, with accompanying proof of evidence and other related documents.

Subsequently, on May 10, the judge rejected an application filed by Bello, seeking to halt his trial, pending an appeal regarding his trial.

Upon the court’s refusal to halt the trial, Bello, through his lawyer, Mohammed, pledged to turn himself in on June 13 (Thursday) for arraignment.

The arraignment on Thursday stalled again as Bello failed to appear before the court, hence the case was adjourned to June 27.

Meanwhile, a disagreement ensued prior to the rescheduling between the prosecuting and defence lawyers over Bello’s failure to appear before the court.

The defence lawyer, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), informed the court that EFCC’s prosecutor, Pinheiro, requested a new date because June 13 was inconvenient for the accused, Bello.

Read more: FCCPC Warns Against Contaminated Foods Flooding Consumer Markets in Nigeria

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