29 November 2012

Nigeria: Money Laundering - Babalakin's Ill-Health Stalls Arraignment

Photo: This Day
Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin

Lagos — The must anticipated arraignment of the Chairman of the Bi-Courtney Highway Services, Dr Wale Babalakin could not hold on Thursday as he was said to be ill and could not attend proceeding at the Lagos State High Court, sitting in Ikeja.

Babalakin, alongside Alex Okon, Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited are slammed with 27 counts charges by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) bordering on the fraudulently transfer of N3.7 billion for the convicted ex- Governor of Delta State, James Ibori. The second defendant, Alex Okon however appeared atthe proceeding.

At the commencement of proceeding presided over by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, counsel to Babalakin who is the first defendant, E.O Sofunde informed the court that Babalakin ill-health which has taken a turn for the worst, is preventing from attending the proceeding.

"I must tender my unreserved apology for the absence of the first defendant. I addressed a letter dated November 28, 2012 through the registrar intimating the court that the first defendant took ill and enclosed a copy of his report signed by his doctor, Dr Charles Hammond.

But I was sometimes informed last night that the condition deteriorated and he was taken to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) where he is currently on admission as we speak," the lawyer narrated.

Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) however expressed the anti-graft agency's disaffection with attitude of Babalakin saying the November 26 2012 date on the medical report was the same day he was with EFCC in its Abuja office.

The case was adjourned till December 12, 2012.

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