N5b fraud: Retry Akingbola, A’Court orders
Former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr. Erastus Akingbola, may soon return to court to defend himself on a N5bn fraud allegation brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This is because the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has reinstated the charge struck out by a Federal High Court in Lagos
The appellate court, which upturned the judgment of the trial judge, Justice Charles Archibong, ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Auta, to re-assign Akingbola’s case to another judge for re-trial “on merit and for accelerated hearing.”
The EFCC had in 2013, dragged Akingbola before Archibong on an allegation of financial impropriety to the tune of N5bn.
However, Archibong, on April 2, 2012 struck out the case for want of diligent prosecution.
The judge, while striking out the EFCC’s case against Akingbola, described the prosecuting team as “a drain in the public purse.”
“This prosecution team has chosen to pursue a campaign to scandalise the court, which amounts to serious and professional incompetence in the prosecution of the accused”, Archibong held.
But displeased with the judge’s decision, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Dr. Khrushchev Ekwueme, headed for the appellate court.
The appellate court, in its lead judgment by Justice Amina Aguie, which was read by Justice Yargata Nimpar, said, “Even a mere bystander who watched the proceedings that necessitated the appeal, could not possibly agree that there was fair hearing.”
Augie further held that the trial judge overreacted in his state of anger and fell short of the composure, decorum and standard expected of judges in the discharge of their judicial duties.
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February 24, 2015 at 10:29 am
all the babalawos need to try something new…..use one of their lie detector juju to catch one of these criminals in this country