Appeal Court Sets Aside Contempt Proceedings Against EFCC Chairman

The Court of Appeal has set aside contempt proceedings initiated by the former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, against the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Olanipekun Olukoyede.

In a unanimous judgement read by Justice Joseph Oyewole, he set aside the proceedings while overruling the Respondent’s preliminary objection, citing technicalities.

The Appeal Court held that the trial judge failed to extend the Orders of 9th February in its final Judgment of April 17th.

He said the second issue raised by the former governor on the interim order,  had become an academic exercise.

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The Appellate Court had earlier granted an ex-parte motion for stay of contempt proceedings filed against Olukoyede, by ex-governor Bello.

The Court granted the EFCC’s application to serve the processes in the appeal by substituted means on the former Governor.

The court consequently adjourned the hearing of the motion on notice to May 20.

The EFCC Chairman had been summoned to appear before the Kogi State High Court in May to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying its orders.

But he had appealed the ruling of the trial court and sought a stay of the proceedings of the court.

The Kogi State High Court based its ruling on the premise that the EFCC Chairman carried out “some acts upon which the EFCC have been restrained” by the Court on February 9, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion.

Justice I. A. Jamil, in a ruling had ordered that “the said act was carried out by the respondent (EFCC) in violation of the order, which was valid and subsisting when they carried out the act.

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