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HomeNewsEFCC: ‘Yahaya Bello Has Lost Immunity From Arrest, Can Be Prosecuted’ –...

EFCC: ‘Yahaya Bello Has Lost Immunity From Arrest, Can Be Prosecuted’ – Falana

Human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, has said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, can arrest and prosecute the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.

News360 Info reported that operatives of the anti-graft agency invaded Bello’s residence in Abuja on Wednesday, attempting to arrest him over an ongoing investigation into financial fraud.

However, his successor, Governor Usman Ododo, smuggled Yahaya Bellow out of his residence.

Reacting to the incident, Falana, in a statement issued on Thursday, said Bello has lost his immunity and can be arrested and prosecuted by the EFCC.

Falana also referenced Section 35(1)(c) of the Nigerian constitution, which he stated allows law enforcement agencies, including the police and anti-graft bodies, to arrest a suspect when there is reasonable suspicion of a criminal offense.

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The statement read, “As a former governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello has lost his immunity from arrest and prosecution. No court can confer a life immunity on a former governor in Nigeria.

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By virtue of Section 35(1)(c) of the Constitution, the police, anti-graft agencies, and other prosecutorial bodies cannot be prevented by a court of law from arresting a criminal suspect once there is reasonable suspicion that he or she has committed a criminal offence.

The Supreme Court had pointed out that the order of a High Court to the effect that a criminal suspect should not be arrested cannot bar a court of coordinate jurisdiction from trying him.

In the case of Orji Kalu v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2016) 39 WRN 53, the Appellant challenged the EFCC for charging him before the Federal High Court in spite of the order of the High Court of Abia State restraining the anti-graft agency from violating his fundamental right to personal liberty.”

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