Ex-parte order protecting Yahaya Bello lapsed April 17, 2024—Okutepa, SAN


A respected silk, Chief Samuel Okutepa, SAN has said that there is no subsisting court order preventing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting and prosecuting former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

Okutepa, SAN made his position known in a statement issued on April 22, 2024.

He said contrary to reports making the rounds, the interim ex-parte orders issued by Justice A.I. Jamil of the Kogi State High Court on February 9, 2024, restraining the EFCC from arresting Bello, has since been overtaken by subsequent events.

Explaining how he came by the position, he said on April 17, 2024, Justice Jamil ruled on the substantive case, granting orders that gave the anti-graft agency the leeway to arrest and prosecute the former governor, provided it first obtains leave from the Federal High Court.

Okutepa disclosed that the EFCC had indeed secured the required leave and a warrant of arrest from Justice Nwite of the Federal High Court on the same date, April 17.

“As from the 17th of April 2024, there were no more any order or orders of any court of competent jurisdiction stopping EFCC from arresting, inviting, or prosecuting Yahaya Bello,” Okutepa emphasized.

The senior advocate admonished those peddling reports of a subsisting court order protecting Bello to be guided by the facts, stating that any such order “can only exist in the imagination of Yahaya Bello and his political sycophants.”

Okutepa further noted that the EFCC’s appeal against the initial ex-parte order at the Court of Appeal in Abuja has become academic and otiose, following Justice Jamil’s final ruling on April 17.

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