Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

EFCC accuses Babalakin of planning to escape

12 December 2012, 16:20

Lagos - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday accused the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Ltd., Wale Babalakin of plotting to flee the country to evade arraignment over an alleged N4.7 billion fraud.

The commission made the allegation through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Babalakin is presently on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for an undisclosed ailment.

His continued admission in hospital on Wednesday again frustrated the EFCC from arraigning him for fraudulently transferring N4.7 billion on behalf of convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

However, Jacobs who was responding to the complaint by his lawyers that EFCC operatives had laid siege on LUTH premises, said it was done to ensure that he did not escape.

Jacobs said Babalakin was hiding in the hospital to evade arrest, adding that the embattled businessman had even called the EFCC that he wanted to go home.

 "He (Babalakin) asked for a guarantee from the EFCC that he will not be arrested upon leaving the hospital, but we rejected it.

"We had an intelligence report that he wanted to leave the country.

 "It is our duty to ensure that he does not escape. It has happened before. Ibori left this country and was jailed in the UK. It is the duty of my client (EFCC) to ensure that this should not happen again".

He said the application for an adjournment, which was filed by Babalakin's counsel and his suit against the EFCC at the Federal High Court, Lagos, were aimed at stalling the arraignment.

However, Babalakin's counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and Dr Abiodun Layolu (SAN), said the EFCC was only making wild allegations against their client.

 Layolu said: "The continued siege on the first defendant (Babalakin) in the hospital by EFCC operatives can worsen his health condition and delay the arraignment.

"His hypertension has been aggravated by the presence of these stern looking operatives in the hospital premises".

 Ayorinde, on his part, dismissed the anti-graft agency's claim that Babalakin was stalling the arraignment by filing different applications.

 He said: "The first defendant is entitled to all the protection of the law in the country.

"If he sees that his rights are being trampled upon, he has the right to take the necessary legal steps".

The judge, after hearing their arguments, urged the EFCC to get an independent medical report on Babalakin's health status and forward it to the court.

Onigbanjo adjourned the matter to Jan.17 for hearing of the applications filed by defence counsel and for Babalakin's possible arraignment.

Meanwhile, the court also granted Babalakin's former counsel, Mr Ebun Sofunde (SAN), permission to withdraw from the matter.

Sofunde in an application dated Dec. 4, informed the court that he was withdrawing his representation for "personal reasons".

NAN reports that Babalakin was charged to court alongside Alex Okoh, Stabilini Visioni Ltd., Bi-Courtney Ltd. and Renix Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants had fraudulently assisted Ibori to transfer various sums, through various parties, to Erin Aviation account in Mauritius for the purchase of a Challenger Jet Aircraft.

The defendants are facing 27 counts bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct and corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action.

However, effort to arraign the defendants was stalled on Nov.29 following the claim by Sofunde that Babalakin was on admission at LUTH.

NAN

Tags efcc
NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX

Panic as money doubling scheme crashes

03 December 2016, 13:34

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Separating kitchen politics from ...

Like everyone else, I believe that the most popular definition of democracy is “government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Read more...

Submitted by
Bethel Tanifo
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, ...

Like NDDC Unlike MONDA. This notion is an intuition that does not portend political participation, affiliation, intrusion or aggression but a submission with the intention of completion of the previous administration's noble vision. Read more...

Submitted by
Bethel Tanifo
Nigerian Constitution versus Corr...

The problems of Nigeria is not in its conventional composition, formation, functionality, constitution or treaty, while the solutions are not disintegrations as promulgated by some faiths fanatics and bigotries.  Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Much Ado about Trump’s Presidency

It was unbelievable when the social and mainstream media all over the world began airing the breaking news of Donald Trump’s victory in the most contentious US Presidential elections in recent years. Read more...

Submitted by
Mike Daemon
Nigerian author highlights gay ch...

A new novel by a prolific young Nigerian author features gay characters, which could help increase the visibility of the gay community and possibly lead to greater understanding of LGBT Nigerians. Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Your Excellency, I will call you ...

Your Excellency, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, as a leader that pays attention to details, I understand that the odd title of this piece would definitely arouse your curiosity.  Read more...