Barristers & Solicitors
Yahaya Bello: Lawyers urge EFCC to follow due process, avoid media trial

A consortium of lawyers under the aegis of Guardians of Democracy and Rule of Law, on Friday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to follow due process in its bid to prosecute the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Bello is facing a 19-count charge bordering on his alleged complicity in money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of about N80.2billion.

Trial Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja had fixed May 10 to rule on an application the former governor filed to challenge a warrant of arrest the EFCC obtained against him.

Meanwhile, in a statement they made available to newsmen on Friday, the legal practitioners, decried what they termed as media trial of the defendant by the anti-graft agency.

They equally faulted the ex-parte order of arrest which they described as premature, noting that it was issued at a time there was a subsisting order from another court of the same coordinate jurisdiction.

The group, through its Director-General, Mr. Samson Osondu Abugu, said there was need to accord every defendant the right of presumption of innocence as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Abugu said it was wrong for the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyade to arraign the defendant in the media during an interview he granted recently, when the matter is already pending in court.

Culled from Vanguard News