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BREAKING: Court places ‘fresh’ decree on Yahaya Bello’s criminal case



Yahaya Bello court

The Federal High Court in Abuja has strongly criticized the immediate former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for his claimed efforts to obstruct the ongoing criminal case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a recent decision, Justice Emeka Nwite, repeated the court’s previous order from April 17, ordering security agents to arrest and bring Bello before the court to address the 19-count charge standing against him.

The court found that the ex-governor’s actions of directing lawyers to challenge its jurisdiction while avoiding officials showed a total lack of respect for the court.

It stressed that by making the application, Bello was showing his refusal to join in the trial, and should have submitted himself upon being told of the arrest order.

Justice Nwite said: “The law is settled that he who disobeyed an order of court and shown disrespect to the court cannot expect a favourable discretion of the court.

“The honourable thing the defendant would have done was to obey the order of court by making himself available.

“Section 287 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, mandates all persons and authority to give effect to orders of court

He has wilfully disobeyed the order of this court. An order of court of competent jurisdiction, no matter how it was obtained, subsists until it is set aside.

“A party who refuses to obey an order of court after becoming aware of it is in contempt of court.

“He is not entitled to be heard or granted a favourable discretion. The refusal of the defendant to make himself available is solely to truncate the arraignment and prevent the court from proceeding further in this case.

“Refusal of the defendant to make himself available in an attempt to truncate this court and make it practically impossible for the court to assume jurisdiction in this criminal trial.

“He ought to make himself available. He cannot sit in the comfort of his home to file applications before this court.

“The defendant has no atom or regard for the court. Clearly, the defendant is taking this court for granted.”

Justice Nwite further held that the Supreme Court had previously condemned Bello’s decision to treat the court’s order with levity.

“In view of the foregoing analysis, I am of the view, and I so hold, that no application can be moved or heard unless the defendant is present before the court to take his plea,” the trial judge held.

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