AKINGBOLA FAULTS EFCC OVER CALL TO DISQUALIFY TRIAL JUDGE
By Innocent Anaba & Chinenye Uduagbala
LAGOS - Mr Erastus Akingbola, former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, yesterday, insisted that it was unethical for Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to seek to disqualify the current judge trying the charge against him before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Akingbola is standing trial for alleged grant of unsecured loans and abuse of office, before Justice Archibong.
The commission had in an application, asked the trial judge, to disqualify himself from further hearing the matter, accusing him (judge) of bias in the manner he was conducting the case.
Akingbola in a counter-affidavit to the application, averred that it would be unjust and inequitable to grant EFCC's request, as it would amount to allowing the anti-graft agency pick and choose the judge to handle a matter in which it is a party.
He contended that the EFCC's application was filed in bad faith and was an abuse of court process, because the allegation of bias raised against the judge was in respect of another civil matter he had earlier filed to protect his fundamental human rights against the abuse of power by EFCC and wondered why what happened in another different matter entirely would be transferred to the criminal matter.
At the hearing of the matter, yesterday, EFCC's counsel told the court that there was a pending application seeking to transfer the case to another judge, but that Akingbola's counsel just served them a counter-affidavit and written address to the application in court.