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Yahaya Bello asks court to set aside arrest warrant against him

Former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has filed a petition at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to invalidate an arrest warrant issued against him. Represented by his lawyer, Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, Bello argued before Justice Emeka Nwite that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant the initial order.

The issue arose during a scheduled arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 19-count money laundering charge. Justice Nwite had issued the arrest warrant against Bello on the previous day, directing the EFCC to bring him to court for plea-taking.

Mohammed informed the court that a preliminary objection challenging the warrant had been filed. He highlighted that a High Court in Kogi had previously restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining, or prosecuting Bello. This order was contested by the EFCC at the Court of Appeal, with a hearing already scheduled.

Mohammed argued that the arrest warrant obtained by the EFCC was an attempt to undermine the ongoing appeal process and provoke a conflict between the courts. He emphasized the paramount importance of resolving the jurisdictional issue before proceeding.

However, EFCC’s lawyer, Kehinde Pinhero, SAN, disagreed with Mohammed’s position. Pinhero asserted that the matter was slated for Bello’s arraignment, and Mohammed, having appeared for the ex-governor, could be served in open court to proceed with the case.

Pinhero clarified that the arrest warrant was necessary to ensure Bello’s appearance in court for trial, as previous attempts to serve him had failed.

At the time of reporting, the hearing was ongoing, with the court deliberating on the matter.

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