Monday, April 21, 2014

Babalakin surrenders to EFCC, allowed to go home


Wale Babalakin

The EFCC released Mr. Babalakin on bail.

Billionaire lawyer, Wale Babalakin, has reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, office at Ikoyi after weeks of seeking refuge at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

A source within the commission said Mr. Babalakin reported to the commission’s Lagos office, on Monday morning, after he was ‘discharged’ from the hospital.

The source added that Mr. Babalakin was released on bail, after interrogation by officials of the agency.

The Bi-Courtney boss failed, on two occasions, to appear before a Lagos High Court where the anti-graft commission is charging him for laundering N4.7 billion for James Ibori, the convicted former Delta State governor.

On both occasions, Mr. Babalakin’s “sudden illness” stalled his arraignment alongside Alex Okoh, his co-accused, with whom he is facing a 27-count charge of money laundering.

While the embattled Senior Advocate of Nigeria was supposed to be convalescing in hospital, he filed a suit before a Federal High court urging the court to restrain the EFCC from arresting and prosecuting him at the Lagos High court.

The judge, Mohammed Idris, struck out the suit.

A week later, Mr. Babalakin instituted the same suit before another judge at the Federal High Court, drawing scathing criticisms from civil society groups.

Again, Ibrahim Buba, the judge, dismissed the suit, advising him to abandon his “cat and mouse game” and face trial.

Mr. Babalakin is expected to appear before Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos High court on January 17, 2013, for his “possible arraignment.”

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