14 December 2012

Nigeria: Court to Rule On Babalakin's Leave Today

Photo: This Day
Wale Babalakin

Lagos — A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, will today, rule on the proper interpretation of the leave it granted embattled Chairman of Bi-Courtney Group, Mr Wale Babalakin, SAN, whether the leave meant that he could not be arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, pending the determination of the suit.

Trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, had granted leave to Babalakin on November 29, 2012 to apply for an order of prohibition to review the constitutionality and the legality of the charge preferred against him at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja.

Babalakin's counsel had sought a clarification from the court as to the implication of the leave it granted the applicant, to file an application for an order of prohibition against the respondents.

He informed the court that despite the leave granted the applicants, which he argued should ordinarily operate as a stay of further proceedings against the applicant by the respondents, they had still engaged in harassing and threatening the applicant with arrest, adding that the respondents had shown a total disregard for the court's order served on them, even though the applicant had served them with both the court ruling and provisions of law supporting it.

But counsel to EFCC, contended that the commission only ensured security surveillance at the hospital, where Babalakin was receiving treatment, to restrain his movement out of the country.

The commission, contended that based on these developments, officers of the agency had embarked on a round-the-clock check and surveillance at the hospital vicinity where the applicant is, to ensure that he did not 'disappear into thin air.'

Justice Idris after listening to parties, adjourned till today for interpretation of the intendment of the leave granted in favour of Babalakin.

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