N80.2bn allegations: Bello surrenders, may appear in court June 13

The former governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello have decided to submit himself to the Federal High Court in Abuja for arraignment on June 13.

Bello’s lead counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed gave the undertaking to Justice Emeka Nwite on Friday shortly after the request for suspension of trial by the defendant was rejected by the court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leveled an allegation bordering on corruption charges against the former governor.

The senior lawyer claimed that the former governor was not afraid of arraignment but safety of his life in the hand of the anti-graft agency.

He said that the life of his client has been under consistent threats in Abuja, hence,  his decision to go underground for safety.

The agreement to submit to court trial was informed by the remarks of Justice Nwite that EFCC as a law abiding body would not do anything against the provisions of the law.

The Judge said that Bello was not the first former governor to be merely invited by the anti-graft agency and would not be the last.

The Judge also said that the charges are based on allegations that have not been proved adding that the law even presume any accused person innocent until proven otherwise.

He advised the senior lawyer to prevail on his client to respect the law and order of court as a law abiding person.

Responding, Bello’s lawyer thanked the Judge for the hint, saying  with the assurance that EFCC would not do anything untoward, the former governor would be brought to court.

He added: “All my client needs is just an assurance for the safety of his life which has been under threat for sometimes in Abuja.”

The lawyer has therefore requested for four weeks to bring his client before the court.

He said that Bello would however come to the court instead of the EFCC to take his plea in the charges.

With no objection from the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo SAN, Justice Nwite has since  fixed June 13 for Bello to appear in court for his plea to be taken.