From Godwin Tsa Abuja

The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, yesterday, adjourned indefinitely, in an ex parte motion for stay of proceedings filed by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chairman, Mr. Ola Olukayode, challenging the contempt charge filed by former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Hearing was stalled, yesterday, due to a two-day workshop organised by the appellate court on the Review of the 2023 Election Petition Tribunals/Court and Appeals, which began yesterday in Abuja. The registrar of the court announced in court that there would be no sitting yesterday.

“We are holding a workshop, where our judges are in attendance. Therefore, there’s no sitting today. The next adjourned date will be communicated to counsel to the parties for all cases scheduled for today. We are sorry for the inconveniences this might have caused,” the registrar said.

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The appellate court had, on May 3, granted an ex parte motion for stay of contempt proceedings filed by the EFCC and issued against its chairman by a Kogi State High Court. The EFCC boss was summoned to appear before the state’s court on May 13 to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying its orders. However, he has appealed the ruling of the trial court and sought a stay of the proceedings of the court.

Olukayode is facing a contempt charge for carrying out “some acts upon which they (the EFCC) have been restrained” by the lower court on February 9, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion.

Justice I. A. Jamil, in a ruling on Suit No: HCL/68M/2024 and Motion No: HCL/190M/2024, ordered that “the said act was carried out by the respondent (EFCC) in violation of the order, which is valid and subsisting when they carried out the act.”

The judge held that the EFCC’s act amounted to contempt, having laid siege to the residence of the former governor, as early as 8am on April 17, with a bid to arrest him despite a court order restraining them from taking such action, pending the determination of the originating motion.

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