Judge Denies Yahaya Bello’s Request to Transfer N80bn Case to Kogi

Yahaya Bello

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho on Monday dismissed the application of former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to transfer his N80.2 billion fraud trial to Kogi State.

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.

At the last court sitting where he was expected to appear, his lawyers applied to transfer the trial to Lokoja, Kogi State.

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.

Ruling, Justice Tsoho upheld the argument of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that the case should remain in Abuja.

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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