In a recent development in the legal saga involving former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has made a decisive ruling. The court dismissed Bello’s plea to suspend proceedings in the N80.2 billion fraud case brought against him.

Bello’s legal team had petitioned the court to pause the trial before Justice Emeka Nwite. Their argument was centered on an ongoing appeal lodged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Court of Appeal. This appeal was in response to a contempt application filed by Bello against the EFCC chairman, Ola Olukayode.

However, Justice Nwite, in his ruling on Friday, declined Bello’s request presented through his counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed. The judge emphasized that the court could not entertain such an application without the defendant. He stressed that for fairness and procedural integrity, the defendant must be physically present in court to consider such matters.

Justice Nwite strongly disapproved of Bello’s conduct, suggesting that the former governor’s absence in court amounted to disrespect for legal proceedings. He remarked that Bello’s attempt to evade court orders by choosing to remain absent undermined the seriousness of the criminal charges against him.