By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja, yesterday, refused an application for arrest and detention of former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Haliru Bello, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
The federal government is prosecuting Mr Bello, his son Mohammed and their company, Bam Project and Properties LTD on a criminal charge of alleged diversion of funds from the office of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
They are answering a four count for alleged embellishment of N300 million, from Mr Dasuki’s former office.
Mr Bello who was granted an application to travel abroad for medication attention before the court went on vacation in July, and to return to attend his trial 30 days from the date he was permitted, was absent in court.
When the matter came up yesterday, the prosecution counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court of the defendant’s absent.
He therefore, accused Mr Bello of violating the court directives and asked the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.
In his reaction, the defence counsel, Solomon Umor, asked the court to refuse the application for a bench warrant stating that the defendant has never failed to attend trials.
In a short ruling the trial judge aligning with the defence counsel, held that the defendant has not failed in the past to attend hearing.
He however, ordered the defence, to produce the defendant in court in the next adjourned date, else the court will grant the application for warrant of arrest.
“Although the third defendant counsel should have for leave of court.
Nonetheless the medical report has shown his is not in court because of his surgical operation.
“If we should be absent at the next date: the court will grant the application for bench warrant and proceed with the matter in his absence,” Mr Mohammed said.
He therefore, adjourned the matter to December, 13 for continuation of trial.