EFCC Press Release: Babalakin Loses Bid To Stop Arraignment By EFCC

Wale Babalakin

Embattled businessman and Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin today lost his bid to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arraigning him before a Lagos High Court, Ikeja on money laundering charges.

Ruling on the application by Babalakin for an order of prohibition against the EFCC and the Attorney General of Federation from arraigning him before the Lagos High Court, Justice Idris Mohammed of a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos held that the application was defective as the applicant did not file service and serve same properly. He therefore dismissed the case for non-compliance with court rules and awarded the sum of N5000 against the applicant.

Justice Idris equally dismissed the preliminary objection by the EFCC that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the applicant’s application/suit and that the application is incompetent and an abuse of court process.

Justice Idris had on November 29, 2012 granted leave to Babalakin to apply for an order of prohibition to review the legality and constitutionality of the 27 count criminal charges preferred against him at the Lagos High Court.

The order was granted the same day the businessman was to be docked alongside four others before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja for fraudulently transferring various sums of money on behalf of the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, through third parties to some foreign accounts under the guise of purchasing a Challenger Jet Aircraft. He failed to show up, claiming sudden illness that necessitated his hospitalization at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

However, the anti- graft agency through its lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN challenged the ruling.

At the last adjourned date, December 13, Jacobs had urged the court to strike out the application for want of jurisdiction and lack of competence. He argued that the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the application, and that the application was incompetent and amount to abuse of court process as the reliefs sought were not available in law.

He added that information before any court is for that court to deal with and that the Federal High Court cannot exercise powers over the State High Court. “What they are doing here is a gagging suit and I urged the court to dismiss it.

 But Wale Akoni, SAN, counsel to Babalakin told the court that an issue of interpretation had arisen regarding the leave of prohibition granted the applicant as the respondent had taken the view that there was no order of stay against them. He further told the court that despite the order of the court, the EFCC had continued to lay siege to the hospital where the defendant is receiving treatment for undisclosed ailment. He therefore urged the court to reiterate and reinforce with some measure of clarity the effect of the ruling against the respondent. He equally they were in court because the commission has no power to prosecute his client at the Lagos State high Court as section 19(1) of the EFCC Act is unconstitutional.  He said that there was no valid statutory power available to the respondent to file charges against the applicant. He further added that the Commission ought to report to the AGF but that the Commission has not done that.

However, Jacobs, SAN, told the court that the matter before it was hearing of the substantive suit and the motion of preliminary objection. He said the order of court was unambiguous and needed no further interpretation.

Jacobs said the matter before the court was simple and that it was whether the respondent has power to initiate criminal proceedings and whether they followed the right procedures.

He said the powers conferred on the AGF or the AG of the State to initial and prosecute is not exclusive. “The EFCC can initiate criminal proceedings against anybody”, he said.

Wilson Uwujaren
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
 

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reply to 'babalooter'

my dear u probably belong to a professional body and when d need arises, u defend that body. Let me try and clear some issues about a lawyers job and why they get vilified most of d time. Pple are only criminals when a court of competent jurisdiction says so. Lawyers have a professional duty to defend those who seek their professional services in that regard, wit some exceptions. A lawyer is trained to be dispassionate as d legal system itself should be. Therefore, whatever his opinion may be, d lawyer must follow d law. Or do u think accused persons should not get a trial? There are bad pple everywhere and they are bad, not bcos they are lawyers. So what if d bad man is a lawyer? I am a proud lawyer, one that frowns at curruption. But one that also believes d courtesy of a fair trial shd be extended to all; including 'babalooter'. If u disagree, wait till u stand accused. There is wisdom in assuming an accused innocent.

Dear Honourable Kidnappers ..Ibadan & Lagos axis

Dear Honourable Kidnappers ..Ibadan & Lagos axis,

This is to specially inform you that Babalakin & Dimeji Bankole's Parents & Grand parents are still alive. Their residential addresses are
1. Liberty street, Ibadan
2. Freedom close, VGC, Lekki - Lagos.

I wish you success in this proposed business venture especially with Dimeji. You will be free to negotiate in trillions in any currency. Dimeji's relations would be good business anyday.

May the good Lord bless the work of your hands and may you live long to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Success wishes.

Long live the Unites States of the SS&SE

Dear Honourable Kidnappers ..Ibadan & Lagos axis

Dear Honourable Kidnappers ..Ibadan & Lagos axis,

This is to specially inform you that Babalakin & Dimeji Bankole's Parents & Grand parents are still alive. Their residential addresses are
1. Liberty street, Ibadan
2. Freedom close, VGC, Lekki - Lagos.

I wish you success in this proposed business venture especially with Dimeji. You will be free to negotiate in trillions in any currency. Dimeji's relations would be good business anyday.

May the good Lord bless the work of your hands and may you live long to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Success wishes.

Long live the Unites States of the SS&SE

hmm enough is enough!!!

Wale Babalakin go and enjoy your ill gotten billions in prison. Make I hear word abeg, when you were stealing money we were all hailing you and you were enjoying it. Now it's time you realise that most of us were hailing you all the way to solitary confinement in kirikiri where your designated post will be Land-lord within a few weeks. We know that you will have to work your way up, through the corruption and filth of the prison system, but be rest assured we are confident that you are capable and over qualified for the task. Our only cause for concern is that you don't train your fellow criminals in your ways, as two of your type can sell Nigeria even from your prison walls.

Babalakin: A Charge and bail Judiciary vs Nigerian People?

Leave of Prohibition my foot! What are thesee bail and charge lawyers up to and leadibg the Judiciary and indeed Nigeria into?
An accused filed an ex-parte motion not to be charged for a suspected breach of the law and a Judge gives that leave? If that is the Nigerian they see for the future, then it is far netter we go our separate ways from here quietly. Enough is Enough please.

ANOTHER WASTE OF TIME

My worry is that this case is another waste of time, energy and scarce resources by the EFCC. This man will walk out of it free as a hero and more popular to even contest for the Presidency of this country. Nigerians mark my word IBORI WILL RETURN TO THIS COUNTRY A HERO! EFCC what about Orji Uzor Kalu, Dimeji Bankole, Tinubu, Otedola, Fayose, Mbadinuju, Chimaroke Nnamani,Igbinedion, Dariye, Odili, OBJ,IBB,Abdulsalami etc.
It is only individual Nigerians that can handle these looters. Time will tell.

Babalooter Loses Bid...

Babalooter Loses Bid to secure another court injunction to to stop circumvent trial after his loots has been made known to everybody in the world.
I wonder what kind of lawyers we groomed in the country.So, some one went to University and read law only to defend a chronic public thief whose handiwork is affecting him and his generations also.What a daft professional conscience.Niger Delta oil money has always been looted from North to south west and eastern part of Nigeria in the name of one Nigeria. I know looters apologist will defend this write up. Nigeria judiciary now need a total overhaul if corruption is to be tackled.

Stop wasting Nigerians' time

The cat is out of the bag. EFCC is a branch of PDP. So they should shut up and stop trying in vain to deceive Nigerians. Idiots !

FOR GOD SAKE WHY IS THIS MAN

FOR GOD SAKE WHY IS THIS MAN STILL TALKING.HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL BY NOW SHINING THE IRON BAR WITH HIS NOSE IN KIRIKIRI

SHOPPING FOR DUBIOUS INJUNCTIONS,BABALAKIN DELAYS JUSTICE.

In my childhood,I remember the armed robbery and firearms Tribunal which dispensed justice quickly in armed robbery cases,I also remember the public executions which brought shame to the executed robbers home towns,it was normal for robbers to be executed in their home towns.This practice may have been barbaric but it reduced armed robbery to the barest minimum,it was result oriented.
Nigeria needs special courts to expedite action in a swift manner but ensuring that the rule of law and the fundamental human rights of accused persons are protected.The present system of shopping for dubious injunctions from one court to another not only delays and denies justice to the people,it also exposes the judiciary to corruption.The unfortunate situation is that the legislators who are supposed to make laws are heavily corrupt and afraid of shooting themselves in the feet.

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