By TAIYE AGBAJE
ABUJA- Hearing in the bail application filed by Ali, identified as a nephew to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi and others was on Monday stalled at a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on Feb 8, arraigned Mr Bello and three others before Justice Obiora Egwuatu.
They were arraigned on 18-count charge of money laundering and misappropriation of about N3 billion.
The three other co-defendants are Abba Adauda, Yakubu Adabenege and Iyada Sadat, while Rashida Bello was said to be at large.
According to the EFCC, the defendants committed the crime in 2020.
Bello and others, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges said to violate Sections 18(a), 15(20)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
The judge, then, adjourned the case till today and ordered that the defendants be remanded in a correctional centre pending the determination of the bail application.
Upon resumed hearing on Monday, counsel to the defendants, Ahmed Raji, SAN, informed that a bail application was filed on Feb. 8.
Raji said the EFCC, however, served on him a counter affidavit in opposition to the bail plea on Friday at about 4pm.
“Accordingly, we were handicapped. We couldn’t put in our reply until this morning,” he said.
He urged the court to deem the processes as being properly filed in accordance with the FHC Practice Direction.
But Justice Egwuatu said that he was yet to see the anti-graft agency’s counter affidavit in the court file.
Responding, EFCC’s lawyer, M.K. Hussein, said though the commission filed the counter affidavit, it was mistakenly sent to another court.
The judge, consequently, adjourned the matter until Tuesday for hearing.(NAN)