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Yaya Bello: Group Commends Justice Nwite, Asks Ex-Kogi Gov to Show Up In Court

An Abuja-based civil society group, Vanguard for Credible Representation (VCR), has commended the Federal High Court judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, over his Friday ruling that the defendant and immediate past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yaya Bello, should appear in court for the hearing of the motion on notice.

Justice Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja, in his ruling on Friday had declared that the former Governor’s application cannot be entertained in his absence from court. The former Governor had earlier urged the judge, to stay his trial over N80.2 billion fraud, citing a pending appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) concerning contempt proceedings against its head, Ola Olukoyede.

In chiding the defense counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed SAN, the judge also said, “You are the one who is misleading the defendant. Bring him to court and I will entertain your applications,” an action which prompted the lawyer to promise to produce him before the court on 13 June for arraignment.

The group in a release signed by its head, Comrade Akinloye Oyeniyi, in Abuja on Saturday said “The court has simply reiterated what every right-thinking person has been saying, there is no two ways about it”

“As we said in our last press conference, alallegationsre are not convictions, these are two different things and the courts are where you clear yourself of any allegation. In true fact, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or any prosecuting agency does not have any power of conviction but can only take their claims to the courts where the alleged person will have to clear himself or herself or be convicted if he or she cannot, ” Oyeniyi emphasized.

The group also reiterated its earlier warning to those behind the surreptitious plan to call for the removal of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Oladipo Olukoyede, simply because he is a southerner and the first one to head the anti-graft agency since its creation by the Obasanjo administration.

On those alleged to be planning the removal of the EFCC Chairman, the group sternly warned that “We shall also continue to warn those anti-Nigeria elements whose plot is to remove the EFCC Chairman for no reason other than being from the southern part of the country, to retrace their steps and take the path of unity or have other Nigerians to contend with. It should be known that EFCC is for all Nigerians and any Nigerian of any divide is legally qualified to head it since such is in compliance with the Act establishing it”

The group further called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to not listen to any ethnic jingoistic group and their evil plan to institutionalize ethnic governance in Nigeria.

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