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The Standard Gazette
Online Daily News Portal | Online Newspapers

EFCC to arraign Babalakin, others Thursday

Mr. Babalakin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will on Thursday arraign the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Wale Babalakin for an alleged N4.7 billion fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Babalakin was charged before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

He was charged alongside Alex Okoh, Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-Courtney Limited and Renix Nigeria Limited for fraudulently transferring N4.7 billion on behalf of convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

Efforts to arraign the defendants were stalled on November 29 and December 12 last year after Babalakin’s counsel told the court that the first defendant was on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

EFCC spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, told NAN on Wednesday that Babalakin has since been discharged from LUTH and was fit to take his plea.

“We have a court date tomorrow and it is for the arraignment of Babalakin and the other defendants,” Uwujaren said.

The EFCC had alleged that the defendants fraudulently assisted Ibori to transfer various sums, through various parties, to Erin Aviation account in Mauritius for the purchase of a Challenger Jet aircraft.

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

EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had alleged– when the case came up last– that Babalakin was trying to flee the country to evade arraignment.

The defendant’s counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and Dr. Abiodun Layolu (SAN), had, however, countered the claim, describing it as “a wild allegation.”

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