Why Chief Judge Declined Yahaya Bello’s request

By Babajide Adekunle

Yahaya Bello, a former governor facing the allegation of stealing N80.2 billion has had his wish of having the lawsuit transferred to his home state of Kogi declined.

Bello’s counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed, had written to the chief judge of the Federal High Court, Mr. Justice John Tsoho, asking that he transfer the lawsuit from Abuja to Kogi state. But, Kemi Pinheiro, counsel to EFCC, opposed the request to have the case heard in Kogi.

In his response to the matter, Mr. Justice Tsoho, stated that the crux of the allegations levelled against Bello was that he purchased properties in Abuja with the stolen funds.

“The law permits the filing of the charge either in Abuja, FCT, or in Lokoja, Kogi State, the offence(s) having been allegedly partly committed in both places,” the chief judge said in his reply.

He added that the EFCC had “shown with documentary evidence that two criminal charges in the same scheme of alleged fraud are being tried in the federal high court, Abuja.”

He continued: “In both charges, a formal application was made for their transfer to Lokoja, but the court, in a considered ruling, refused the application. The ruling has not been set aside and cannot be reversed by administrative fiat.

“There is documentary evidence of a pending appeal in Yahaya Adoza Bello v. F. R. N. filed on 17/05/2024, wherein the defendant, as appellant, has sought a consequential order remitting the case to the chief judge for reassignment. It is not proper to take any step that will be tantamount to pre-empting the outcome of the appeal.

“The main issue raised is jurisdictional in nature and will be more appropriately decided by the court. The matter should therefore be presented in open court.”

TheCornet reports that Bello has evaded the courts multiple times.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button