News Column

N47.1 Billion Fraud - Akingbola Fails to Quash Charges Against Him

May 5, 2014

Nurudeen Oyewole

Efforts by the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr.ErastusAkingbola and his associate, Mr. Bayo Dada to quash the N47.1billion theft charge preferred against them failed yesterday as a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja dismissed the two separate applications filed by the duo.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had slammed a 22count charge against the duo over allegations bordering on stealing, obtaining money by false pretences and receiving stolen property.

While delivering his judgment, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo said the two separate applications filed by the duo failed because they are lacking in merit.

Prior to this time, Akingbola and Dada had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charges preferred against them by EFCC,arguing through their lawyers, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) that the subject matter of the alleged offences related to banking operations and capital market issues can only be determined at the Federal and not State High courts.

Olanipekun cited the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on November 21, 2013 in a matter filed by a former Managing Director of Finbank, Okey Nwosu, against the EFCC.

He submitted that the Court of Appeal had dismissed the theft charge preferred against Nwosu on ground that the Lagos High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He said Nwosu and Akingbola's cases were similar and that the court should discharge his client.

Counsel to the second defendant, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) had similarly argued that the offences allegedly committed by his client related to buying and selling of shares on behalf of Intercontinental Bank and cannot be determined by the court.

EFCC counsel, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) however asked the court to dismiss the charge and assume jurisdiction over the case.

He said the charge against the defendants borders on stealing which was different from that made against Nwosu.

In his ruling, Justice Lawal-Akapo aligned with the submission ofthe EFCC counsel, saying, "The offences as charged are within the purview and competence of the state high court. In the result, I find no merit in the applications and they are hereby dismissed," the judge ruled.

He adjourned the matter till June 23, 2014 for re-arraignment of the defendants.

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Source: AllAfrica

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