Politics

JUST IN: Federal High Court adjourns arraignment of Yahaya Bello to June 27

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the arraignment of former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to June 27, 2024.

The adjournment was ordered by Justice Emeka Nwite, SAN, following a request from Bello’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN.

Adedipe informed the court that the lead counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, had previously communicated that Thursday’s proceedings would be inconvenient for the EFCC.

However, Adedipe expressed surprise that the EFCC’s junior counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, was present in court, contrary to their understanding.

He said: “As senior counsel, it was best agreed by way of convenient for another date.

“It was agreed administratively that junior lawyers be sent to court today to formally take a date as agreed by parties for June 27.

“I personally also approached the registry to confirm this information and it was confirmed to me. That was why I told the court that my appearance today is for another matter.

“What the prosecution has done this morning is an ambush to bring the defendant once again to the realms of social media.”

He insisted that it was at Pehinro’s behest that the matter be adjourned until June 27 for arraignment.

Responding, Oyedepo disagreed with Adedipe. He said he was not aware of any meeting that happened between their lead counsel and the defence.

However, a senior lawyer, Simon Lough, who came for another matter, stood up to intervene.

He said it was unnecessary for senior counsel to be attacking each other in court on a simple matter.

He said since Adedipe had explained why the defendant was not in court, a new date should be agreed on.

Lough said at the new date, the court could inquire from the prosecution lead counsel on what transpired.

He advised the lawyers to stop the argument in order not to waste the time of the court on other matters.

Justice Nwite thereafter adjourned the case to June 27 on agreement of counsel after an undertaking that the defendant would appear on the next adjourned day.

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