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Yayaha Bello Seeks Transfer Of ‘Money Laundering’ Trial To Kogi

The immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has asked the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, to transfer his alleged money laundering trial to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

At the resumed hearing of the 19-count charges against him, which was fixed for June 27, Bello, through his counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), informed the court that the lead defence counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN), had written the CJ for the transfer of the case in a letter dated June 14, 2024.

He contended that criminal proceedings must be initiated and prosecuted in the judicial division of the Federal High Court where the act or omission or the elements of the offence were allegedly committed.

He said the letter to the CJ and the request by the CJ’s special assistant, Joshua Ibrahim Aji had been forwarded to the counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) seeking a response within six days.

However, the EFCC lead prosecuting counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), vehemently opposed the transfer request, describing it as an attempt to frustrate the trial.

The EFCC lawyer asked the presiding judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, to hold the two defence lawyers, Mohammed and Adedipe responsible for the ex-governor’s absence despite making undertakings to the court to produce him for arraignment.

The EFCC lawyer also requested that the two SANs be cited for contempt of court.

Meanwhile, the court has fixed July 17 for Bello’s arraignment and ruling on the contempt request against the two lawyers.

Daily Trust

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