11th May, 2015
Billionaire lawyer and Chief Executive of Bi-Courtney Limited, Chief Wale Babalakin has approached a Federal High Court, Lagos for an ex-parte order to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arresting or prosecuting him for alleged corruption and money laundering.
Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, had on February 23, 2015 discharged Babalakin, who along with Alex Okoh, Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited, was being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged N4.7bn scam.
But, rather than appeal Justice Lawal-Akapo’s ruling, the EFCC had settled for fresh charges against Babalakin and his co-accused.
The fresh information to prosecute Babalakin and others was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos on April 21, 2015.
Babalakin, however, got wind of the new development, thus prompting him to rush to the Federal High Court, on April 29, 2015 for a leave to grant him an order prohibiting the EFCC from arresting, detaining or arraigning him on the ground that the Lagos High Court had already exonerated him.
In the ex parte application before Justice J. T Tsoho, Babalakin is asking the court for an order, “restraining EFCC and the Attorney General of the Federation from taking any steps to arraign or proceed with the arraignment or trial of the applicant on the same or similar charge or under the same or similar law or similar subject matter, which charge ID/239/C/2012 was instituted by the respondent and quashed by the High Court of Lagos State pending the hearing and determination of the application.”
When the application came up today for consideration, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, noted that the prosecution was not served with the notice.
The court consequently adjourned till May 25, 2015 for arguments.
Legal experts have said that the EFCC is on course to file fresh charges against Babalakin, since Justice Lawal-Akapo merely struck out the earlier charges against him on technical ground.