I’m ready to appear in court provided there will be no illegal arrest — Yahaya Bello

The embattled immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello said he was ready to appear before the Federal High Court in Abuja to answer to the 19-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him.

Though Bello was absent for his arraignment, he briefed a team of lawyers who addressed the court on his behalf on Tuesday.

A member of his legal team, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, SAN, told the court that his client would have made himself available for the proceedings.

“The defendant wants to come to court but he is afraid that there is an order of arrest hanging on his head,” Adedipe, SAN, submitted.

Consequently, he urged the court to set aside the exparte order of arrest it earlier issued against the former governor.

Adedipe, SAN, contended that as at the time the order of arrest was made, the charge had not been served on his client as required by the law.

He noted that it was only at the resumed proceedings on Tuesday that the court okayed substituted service of the charge on the defendant, through his lawyer.

“As at the time the warrant was issued, the order for substituted service had not been made. That order was just made this morning.

“A warrant of arrest should not be hanging on his neck when we leave this court,” counsel to the defendant added.

Besides, the ex-governor maintained that the EFCC is an illegal organization.

According to him, the Federal Government did not consult the 36 States of the federation before it enacted the EFCC Act through the National Assembly.

He argued that section 12 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, required the various Houses of Assembly of states to ratify the Act before it could become operative.

“This is a very serious matter that borders on the constitution and the tenets of federalism. It has to be resolved because as it stands, the EFCC is an illegal organization,” Bello’s lawyer added.

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