Bello Vs EFCC: Confusion As Court Of Coordinate Jurisdiction Flouts Restraining Order

There was confusion at the Federal High Court, in Abuja on Wednesday, as the court ordered the arrest of Ex-Gov Yahaya Bello for arraignment in court on Thursday, despite a substantive judgement given by a Kogi State High Court earlier on the same day, restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from harassing, detaining or prosecuting the Governor.

Justice I.A Jamil of High Court IV gave the restraining order in a two-hour judgement delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020 in Lokoja at about 12pm Wednesday.

“By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant,” he said.

However, in a move that may be perceived as unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s Judiciary, the Federal High Court, which is of coordinate jurisdiction, has ordered the arrest of Ex-Gov Yahaya Bello for arraignment in court tomorrow.

This is in spite of an existing restraining order and a court judgment against such.

The EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22. (Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission v. Alhaji Yahaya Bello).

Justice Emeka Nwite, who gave the order of arrest on Wednesday said that by the Act establishing the EFCC, it had the power to arrest with or without warrant of arrest.

He said that the EFCC “had tried” to serve him with notice of arraignment.

The Yahaya Bello Media Office had, in a statement signed by Onogwu Mohammed, alerted the nation to a siege on the former Governor’s Abuja residence.

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