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Alleged N4.7bn fraud: Court adjourns Babalakin’s case to November 27

By on October 31, 2013

Babalakin-chairmanThe trial of Wale Babalakin, the Chairman, Bi-Courtney Ltd., charged with transferring N4.7 billion on behalf of convicted former Delta Governor, James Ibori, was on Thursday in Lagos adjourned to Nov. 27.
The adjournment followed the reassignment of the case to Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of an Ikeja High Court by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips.

Babalakin and four other defendants are facing a 27-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct and corruptly conferring benefits on account of public action.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Babalakin, Alex Okoh and their companies — Stabilini Visioni Ltd, Bi-Courtney Ltd and Renix Nigeria Ltd – are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court’s registrars told counsel to EFCC and Babalakin that they had yet to receive the case file from the Chief Judge.

They also confirmed that the court would not sit until the case file was received and asked the lawyers to suggest a date for further hearing of the case.

Both Babalakin’s counsel, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), and the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), agreed that the case should be adjourned to Nov. 27.
Meanwhile, the registrars in the court of the former judge who handled the case, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, have informed both parties that the case file was no longer in their custody.

Onigbanjo had scheduled his ruling on Babalakin’s application to quash the charge for Oct. 31 before the case was reassigned to Justice Lawal-Akapo. (NAN)