Law News
Babalakin sues AGF, EFCC over fresh trial move

The Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, has gone before a Federal High Court in Lagos seeking to stop the move by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to commence fresh criminal trial against him.

Babalakin, his two companies, Bi-Courtney and Stabilini Visioni Limited; along with Alex Okoh, and his company, Renix Nigeria, were earlier in February this year discharged on 27 counts in relation to alleged N4.7bn fraud filed against them by the EFCC.

In his fundamental human rights enforcement action before Justice John Tsoho, Babalakin is seeking a judicial review of the new move by the AGF and the EFCC to put him on trial before the Ikeja High Court.

Babalakin, who said he had come before the court to seek protection against what he described as “proposed malicious prosecution by the AGF and the EFCC”, on April 29, 2015, obtained an order of interim injunction barring the respondents’ move.

He urged Tsoho to quash the fresh charges in its entirety.

At the resumed hearing of the matter in court on Monday, Babalakin’s lawyer, Wale Akoni (SAN), said he had served the court papers on the AGF, but he complained that the EFCC had been evading service.

He said the fact that he had written to the EFCC in respect of the court process showed that he was not interested in shutting the anti-graft agency out.

He said, “My Lord, if we didn’t want them to be here, we wouldn’t have written a letter to them.”

In his response, the EFCC’s prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said though he was not aware of the attempts to serve the commission, he knew that the EFCC was not in the habit of evading service.

Jacobs thereafter accepted service in court, but said the application was not ripe for hearing.

He, however, urged the court to grant a short adjournment to allow expeditious determination of the application.

The judge subsequently adjourned till May 25 to hear the motion on notice.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Ikeja High Court, while discharging Babalakin and others on February 23, 2015, had adjudged the charges by the EFCC to be “incurably bad.”

The 27 counts bordered on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action.

The allegation of the anti-graft agency was that Babalakin and others aided a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is now serving a jail term in the United Kingdom, to siphon funds belonging to the state.

The EFCC claimed that the allegedly siphoned fund, said to be about N4.7bn, was transferred into the bank account of one Erin Aviation in Mauritius for the purpose of purchasing an aircraft.

Click here to read from source

You must be logged in to post a comment.