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Yahaya Bello: Hearing in EFCC chair’s motion against contempt proceedings stalled

Hearing of an ex-parte motion for stay of proceedings filed by EFCC Chairman, Mr Ola Olukoyede, against contempt charge instituted by former Governor of Kogi,…

Hearing of an ex-parte motion for stay of proceedings filed by EFCC Chairman, Mr Ola Olukoyede, against contempt charge instituted by former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, was on Monday stalled at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

The case, scheduled for yesterday, could not proceed due to a workshop organised by the appellate court.

The two-day workshop, organised by the Appeal Court on the Review of the 2023 Election Petition Tribunals/Court and Appeals, began yesterday in Abuja.

The appellate court had, on May 3, granted an ex-parte motion for stay of contempt proceedings filed by the EFCC and issued against its chairman by a Kogi State High Court.

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The EFCC boss, who was summoned to appear before the state’s court on May 13 to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying its orders, had appealed the ruling of the trial court and sought a stay of the proceedings of the court.

The EFCC chair is facing a contempt charge for carrying out “some acts upon which they (the EFCC) have been restrained” by the lower court on Feb. 9, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion.

Justice I. A. Jamil, in a uling on Suit No: HCL/68M/2024 and Motion No: HCL/190M/2024, ordered that “the said act was carried out by the respondent (EFCC) in violation of the order, which is valid and subsisting when they carried out the act.” (NAN)

The judge held that the EFCC’s act amounted to contempt, having laid siege on the residence of the former governor, as early as 8am on April 17, with a bid to arrest him despite a court order restraining them from taking such action, pending the determination of the originating motion.

Justice Jamil’s order was based on a motion ex-parte filed by Bello, through his lawyer, M.S. Yusuf, where he prayed the court for an order to issue and serve the respondent (EFCC chairman) with Form 49 Notice to show cause why order of committal should not be made on him.

But when the case came up on May 3 before the Court of Appeal, presided over by Justice Joseph Oyewole, it granted the EFCC’s application to serve the processes in the appeal by substituted means on the former governor.

The court consequently adjourned the hearing of the motion on notice to May 20.

Some lawyers and litigants, who came to the court on Monday at about 9am, were told by the registrar that there would be no sitting.

“We are holding a workshop, where our judges are in attendance. Therefore, there’s no sitting today.

“The next adjourned date will be communicated to counsel to the parties for all cases scheduled for today.

“We are sorry for the inconveniences this might have caused, ” the registrar said.

 

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