Court Declines Yahaya Bello’s Plea to Transfer Case to Kogi

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The immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, lost his bid to transfer his N80.2 billion fraud case from Abuja to his state.

This followed the ruling of Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, who dismissed Bello’s application seeking to transfer his case to Kogi State.

Justice Tsoho upheld the argument of Dr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), that Bello’s application failed on three grounds.

Bello is facing a 19-count charge of alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of public funds.

Despite denying the allegations, he has consistently failed to appear in court for his arraignment.

His lawyers had applied to transfer the trial to Lokoja, Kogi State.

However, EFCC opposed the move, arguing that the alleged offences were committed partly in Kogi and Abuja, making either state a suitable venue for the trial.

In a letter signed by his Special Assistant, Joshua Ibrahim Aji, the Chief Judge agreed with EFCC, stating that the law permits the filing of the charge in either Abuja or Lokoja.

The judge also noted that two similar criminal charges are already being tried in the Federal High Court, Abuja and that transferring the case would be premature given the pending appeal.

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