Wpid Dr Wale Babalakin Arival Ath Ikeja High Court
Babalakin’s Trial Stalled By Lawyers

Mr. Wale Babalakin, Chairman of Bi-Courtney Ltd

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Monday could not proceed with the trial of Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, due to the several applications filed by the defendants in the suit.

This applications forced trial judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo to adjourn the matter till February 17, to enable all parties sort out the applications for hearing.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Babalakin, Mr. Alex Okoh and their firms with 27 counts of illegally transferring about N4.7bn on behalf of the convicted former Governor of Delta state, Mr. James Ibori.

The counts instituted against the accused by the EFCC includes conspiracy, retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct and corruptly conferring benefits on account of public action.

The firms that were charged along with the duo are Bi-Courtney Limited, Stabilini Visioni Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited.

The accused were deemed for re-arraignment since the matter was assigned to Lawal-Akapo, following the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, out of the Criminal Division of the Lagos State High Court.

The adjournment of Monday’s trial runs similar to the trial of December 9, 2013,  where the matter could not go on on Monday due to the separate notices of preliminary objection, which all the accused had filed challenging the competence of the charges instituted against them.

Justice Lawal-Akapo on Monday frowned at the spate of applications despite the fact that the matter was adjourned over a month ago.

He revealed that some of the applications filed by the defendants were only brought to his attention some moments before the court sitting. He said, ?In a matter of this nature, it is always good to study the processes and ask pertinent questions as the matter goes along.

?What I will suggest is that counsel sit and identify all these processes and their facts to be sure that all the processes are filed.?

EFCC?s counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), noted that the judge needed time to study the huge
processes filed by the defence lawyers.

The accused were first arraigned before the former trial judge, Justice Onigbanjo, in January 2013, but the matter did not proceed to trial until its recent transfer to Lawal-Akapo, before whom the case is now pending.

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