Court Sets May 10 for Ruling on Yahaya Bello’s Arrest Warrant Appeal


The Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled May 10 as the date for ruling on Yahaya Bello’s appeal to nullify the arrest warrant issued against him on April 17. Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after hearing arguments from both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, and Bello’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, during Tuesday’s motion hearing.

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The arrest warrant, issued by Justice Nwite on April 17 based on an ex-parte application by EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, prompted EFCC to request a substituted service of charge documents against the former governor of Kogi State on April 18. Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, Bello’s lead lawyer, declined to accept the documents openly in court.

Adedipe argued for the nullification of the arrest warrant, highlighting its premature issuance before the filing of charges, which contravenes procedural rules. He emphasized the importance of fairness, asserting that Bello’s right to a fair trial could be jeopardized if the warrant remains valid without proper service of charges.

“The court must ensure that the defendant (Bello) is not unfairly prejudiced by the hanging arrest warrant, issued prior to the service of charges, in violation of Section 394 of ACJA,” Adeola asserted.

However, Pinheiro countered that Bello’s arraignment and plea were necessary prerequisites for lifting the arrest warrant.

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