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Appeal Court Overturns Contempt Proceedings Against EFCC Chairman

The Appeal Court ruled that the trial judge did not extend the Orders of February 9th in the final Judgment issued on April 17th.

EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede

The Court of Appeal has set aside contempt proceedings initiated by former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello against the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede. In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Joseph Oyewole, the court overruled the Respondent’s preliminary objection on technical grounds.

The Appeal Court held that the trial judge failed to extend the orders of February 9th in the final judgment issued on April 17th. Justice Oyewole stated that the second issue raised by the former governor regarding the interim order had become an academic exercise.

Previously, the Appellate Court had granted an ex-parte motion for a stay of contempt proceedings filed against Olukoyede by ex-governor Bello. The court also granted the EFCC’s application to serve the appeal processes by substituted means on the former governor and 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. Olukoyede appealed the trial court’s ruling and sought a stay of the proceedings.

The Kogi State High Court based its ruling on the premise that the EFCC Chairman had carried out acts restrained by the court’s order on February 9th, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion. Justice I. A. Jamil ruled that these acts were in violation of the valid and subsisting order at the time they were carried out.

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