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EFCC Drops Appeal Against Ex-Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

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Former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello





The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has withdrawn its appeal against a Kogi High Court order restraining the agency from arresting former Governor Yahaya Bello.

The EFCC filed a notice of withdrawal on April 22, citing that events have overtaken the appeal and that it was filed outside the allowed time frame.

In the notice filed on April 22, and signed by its counsel, J.S Okutepa, SAN, the EFCC said the withdrawal is predicated on the fact that events have overtaken the appeal.

“The appellant herein intends to and do hereby wholly withdraw her appeal against the respondent in the above mentioned appeal.

“This notice of withdrawal is predicated on the fact that; on the April 17, 2024, the application filed by the appellant herein was overtaken by the decision of the same high court of Kogi state,”

“The orders made ex parte by Jamil on the Feb 9, 2024 in the said suit which is the subject of this appeal, was made to last pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice which was finally determined by Jamil J. on the April 17, 2024.

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“Furthermore, the notice of appeal was filed out of time and we, therefore, pray that the appeal be struck out for being filed out of time and incompetent” he stated.

The initial appeal was filed after the Kogi High Court granted an interim injunction in favor of Bello, restraining the EFCC from harassing, threatening to arrest, or detaining him.

On Feb 8, Bello instituted a fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to declare that “the incessant harassment, threats of arrest and detention, negative press releases, malicious prosecution” of the EFCC — “without any formal invitation — is politically motivated and interference with his right to liberty, freedom of movement, and fair hearing”.

The former governor also sought an order “restraining the respondent by themselves, their agents, servants or privies from continuing to harass, threaten to arrest or detain him”

The EFCC had sought to arrest Bello over allegations of money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds worth N80.2 billion.

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However, the withdrawal of the appeal may impact the EFCC’s efforts to prosecute Bello, as the Kogi High Court has already granted an order restraining the agency from taking action against him.

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