EFCC Set To Pick Up Former Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

EFCC Set To Pick Up Former Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

As the tenure of former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello ended on January 27, 2024, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is reportedly preparing to invite him for questioning.

With Bello no longer protected by the immunity afforded to governors, the EFCC and other security agencies are expected to launch an investigation into his eight-year administration.

Daily Times reports that the move comes after an earlier suit seeking the forfeiture of properties and funds linked to Bello was struck out, citing his immunity from prosecution.

Recall that the EFCC filed an appeal, challenging the Wednesday, April 26, 2023 ruling of Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, that struck out its suit seeking the forfeiture of 14 properties as well as the sum of N400m linked to the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, citing his immunity from prosecution under the 1999 constitution.

In the notice of appeal filed by the commission, it averred that Justice Oweibo erred in law when he struck out the suit as the immunity conferred on the Respondent against any civil or criminal proceedings during his incumbency as a governor of Kogi State does not extend to properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime traced to him.

Also, it stated that the court erred and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when it refused to bind itself with the decision of the Court of Appeal in EFCC V Fayose (2018) LPELR 44131 CA and the decision of the Supreme Court in Fawehinmi V IGP (2002)7 NWLR (PT767)606, on the proper interpretation of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.

The EFCC also stated that the learned trial court erred in law when it struck out a preservation order of properties reasonably suspected to have been derived from proceeds of unlawful activities, notwithstanding its findings that the Respondent failed to show the genuine origin of funds used to acquire the properties under the preservation order.

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