Alleged Fraud: Yahaya Bello must appear in court – Judge

Yahaya Bello, former Kogi governor accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC) of fraud, must appear in court, ruled Justice Emeka Nwite.

The jurist gave the ruling on Friday in an application by the anti-graft agency which opposed an application from the lawyer of the former governor.

Mr Bello who has gone into hiding was declared wanted in connection of fraudulently embezzling over N80 billion as Kogi governor, after failing to honour the invitation of the EFCC.

Last month, the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, ordered the EFCC to serve his lawyers, who are arguing that the warrant of arrest of their client was illegally obtained.

Frowning at the application of the lawyers, Justice Nwite described the opposition of the EFCC to it as meritorious, insisting that the accused must appear before the court even if the arrest warrant was illegally obtained.

While citing section 396 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the trial judge held that Mr Bello ought to make himself available first before filling any process, maintaining that he will not be allowed to file any application or be heard for disobeying court orders.