Flash: London Metropolitan Police To Provide Evidence Against Babalakin

Published On: December 3, 2012, 4:49 pm
Author: Omogbolahan Babs
-- (m) at 3-12-2012 04:49PM

(1213 | Gistmaniac)

The London Metropolitan Police is expected to tender evidence against the Chairman, Bi-Courtney Highway Services, Dr. Wale Babalakin, in court when his trial begins proper.

A leading legal practitioner who spoke in confidence said the Met police investigated the involvement of Babalakin and others in the case involving the loot of N4.7 billion for James Ibori, the convicted former state governor.

The Legal practitioner said, “The United Kingdom metropolitan police investigated the case. They just finished their investigation. That is why they are going to give evidence in the case, because it is their case,”

He said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is going to make use of evidence supplied by the Metropolitan Police.

The source stated that the money stole by Ibori was later discovered to be part of Delta State fund used by the former governor to buy a jet in Canada.

He said the EFCC did a good job charging Babalakin in a court within the country, which is where the money originated.

“The issue of charging him in Nigeria when it was the UK police that investigated the matter cannot raise any jurisdictional issue because the money originated from here,” he said.

In the charge sheet, all the suspects are to be arraigned in court for alleged “conspiracy to commit felony, to wit: corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action, contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP. C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003”.

They are also to respond to allegation of “corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action, contrary to Section 98A (1) (a) of the Criminal Code Law, CAP. C17, Laws of Lagos State, 2003.”

The third leg of allegation is “retention of proceed of a criminal conduct contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004”.

EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had expressed shock at the explanation given by Babalakin’s counsel, Mr. Ebun Sofunde (SAN), for his client’s non-appearance in court on the scheduled date.

He said, “It took the EFCC close to a week to get him. He was served with all the processes and released because he took an undertaking that he would appear in court for his arraignment.

“We believe if there is a medical issue that he should have contacted us a day earlier (November 28) rather than to confront us with this application this (November 29) morning.

“We are disappointed by the tactics of the first defendant (Babalakin) but Your Lordship can bend backwards and allow us to come back next week.”

Justice Onigbanjo had rearranged the arraignment for December 13, which coincides with the day a Federal High Court, Lagos, fixed for the hearing of a suit in which Babalakin is in quest to stop his indictment.

Courtesy Businessweek



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