Lagos - The arraignment of the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highways Services, Wale Babalakin, looks likely to proceed after the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State vacated an order restraining his arrest.
The order had been issued on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preventing it from arresting and prosecuting the businessman.
In a ruling delivered on Monday, Justice Tsoho said that the ex-parte order granted Babalakin was intended as a brief intervention to prevent injury and not meant to last a long time. He explained that the order had outlived its lifespan and was no longer valid.
"An ex-parte order is meant to be a brief intervention to prevent injury and not meant to last a long time. Therefore, the order has outlived its life span and is hereby discharged, but the respondent should not take any action that will jeopardise this proceeding," Tsoho ruled.
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Earlier, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, prayed the court to discharge the restraining order, which according to him, had been abused by the applicants' failure to file their application within the five days interval ordered by the court, but instead served same to the respondent at the court premises, which amounted to almost 30 days which ran contrary to the court order.
Jacobs further told the court that the applicant who should have appeared before Justice Kudirat Jose of the Lagos High Court Ikeja has failed to show up in court due to the restraining order on the EFCC to arraign him.
EFCC is seeking the prosecution of an alleged N4,7 billion fraud. The EFCC accused Babalakin of helping James Ibori, a former governor of Delta State, who is now serving a jail term in the UK, to launder state funds.
Justice Tsoho has adjourned the hearing to June 29.
- CAJ News