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

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Bakare Wale
We will support government that i...

The National Association of Nigerian Students from the office of the Vice President External Affairs, Com. Ogunkuade Oluwatosin has organized a press conference to celebrate the international students day. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdul Yusuf Abdul
Nigeria politics of dichotomy

There's one fundamental issues disturbing me in this country, if one is born in a particular locality, grew & did all schooling in particular domain. Read more...

Submitted by
Agbati Yusuf Bamidele
Effect of taking too much garri o...

Consumption of garri is as important as anything among the populace of West Africa like Togo, Nigeria, Benin Republic and others. Read more...

Speaker Tambuwal drops out ff pre...

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal earlier dropped his presidential ambitions after consultations with All Progressives Congress chieftains. Read more...

Submitted by
Otunba Bright Jnr
Fayemi heads APC presidential con...

Fayemi heads APC presidential convention committee Former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was named chairman of the 24 member All Progressives Congress convention planning committee.  Read more...

Submitted by
SAMUEL UFOT EKEKERE
Let's sweep our world of challeng...

In sub-Saharan African where brooms are still part of everyday life, it is common place to find brooms being used as cleaning facilities. Read more...