The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on Monday dismissed two separate appeals filed by the former chief executive officer of Intercontinental Bank (now acquired by Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola challenging the ruling of a Federal High Court which refused his application to discharge an order to freeze his assets.
The Court of Appeal also in another judgment dismissed Mr Akingbola’s application to stop his ongoing criminal trial, before Justice Hakeem Abiru of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja which was brought against him and his associate, Bayo Dada by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The appellate court in its judgment, delivered by Justice Kumai Akaahs, dismissed the appeal in its entirety on the ground that it lacked merit.
The judgment which was unanimously adopted by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa and Justice Pemu further held that Mr Akingbola failed to show that the lower court acted under a misconception of the law.
The court also discountenanced the argument of the appellant that the charges were not brought under the Criminal Procedure Rules or that there was no pending charge before the court at the time of granting the order that froze the assets.
Justice Akaahs held that where there was reasonable suspicion as to the commission of an offence, the law enforcement agents have a duty to seize the subject matter of the offence pending the conclusion of investigation and trial of same.
He therefore held that the lower court acted judicially and judiciously in granting the interim order.
Mr Akingbola is standing trial alongside one of his associates, Mr Dada, over alleged stealing of N47.1 billion brought against them by the EFCC.