This is the second transfer since the case was opened in 2011.
The trial of a former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola, and his associate, Bayo Dada, was on Thursday transferred to a new judge.
The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Ayotunde Phillips, re-assigned the case to Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo for trial.
This followed the transfer of the former trial judge, Adeniyi Onigbanjo, to the Commercial Division of the Ikeja High Court.
This is the second time the case will be re-assigned since the defendants were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. It was previously re-assigned to Mr. Onigbanjo, after the first trial judge, Habeeb Abiru, was elevated to the Court of Appeal on November 2.
The defendants are standing trial on a 22-count charge of conspiracy and stealing of N47.1 billion belonging to the Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank Plc). They were first arraigned on May 31, 2011 before Mr. Abiru. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and the judge granted Mr. Akingbola bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties in like sum and Mr. Dada N50 million bail with two sureties in like sum.
The trial, which was at the stage of adoption of final written addresses by the parties, was aborted as a result of Mr. Abiru’s elevation. Consequently, Messrs. Akingbola and Dada were re-arraigned before Mr. Onigbanjo on February 26, 2012 and in a fresh trial.
They had again pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail with the terms earlier given to them by Mr. Abiru.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for their re-arraignment before Mr. Lawal-Akapo.
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