Lagos - Justice John Tsoho, who has been
presiding over the trial of a suspected accomplice of convicted former Delta
State governor, James Onanefe Ibori, has withdrawn from the trial
after the suspect questioned his fitness to preside.
Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State has
excused himself from the
trial of the Chairman of Bi- Courtney Highways Services, Wale Babalakin, after the beleaguered businessman
petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court expressing fears
that his fundamental human rights may not be protected² during the
Babalakin wrote the letter through his counsel, Abiodun Layonu.
He is consequently seeking the reassignment of the case to
Also read: N4.7bn fraud: Babalakin to know his fate in June
While delivering his ruling on the said letter, the Judge
said he had no option than to hands off the case, following the content
of the petition.
Sequel to the letter written by the applicant to the Chief
Judge,which I have been copied, I have gone through the petition
and have seen everything in it, I therefore disqualify myself and
hands off this case, Tsoho said.
Babalakin and his counsel hinged their letter seeking
reassignment of the case to another judge, on the earlier dismissal of the
motion on notice, which restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission from further prosecuting the applicant, which Justice Tsoho
vacated earlier in June.
According to their letter, vacating the order, infringes on
the fundamental human rights of the applicant, which they
believe the judge cannot protect.
Tsoho had on June 15, 2015, vacated the restraining order
against the EFCC, which he said had outlived its life span.
EFCC is prosecuting for allegedly assisting Ibori to launder
vast sums of money through various parties to Erin Aviation account in
Mauritius for the purchase of an airplane.
- CAJ News