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nerPostTitle">NO JUDGE FOR AKINGBOLA'S CASE Written by furtune Business Mar 2, 2010

No judge for Akingbola's case
By Odunayo Abiodun
March 2, 2010 04:50AM Erastus Akingbola, former Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc.

The sacked Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola will have to wait longer to know if the suit he filed against the confiscation of his assets by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has any merit.

The presiding judge, Justice Tijani Abubakar who was to rule on the matter, was absent at the resumed court hearing yesterday and no official reason was given for his absence.

However, both counsel, Olukonyinsola Ajayi for the commission and Felix Fagbohungbe for the applicant, met with the court registrar and the matter was adjourned to Friday, March 5, 2009.

Justice Abubakar was supposed to deliver ruling on three applications, including whether the suit should be delayed until the bank chief appears in court, and on the call for oral evidence from Mr. Akingbola by the commission.

He was also supposed to decide on the application of the applicant asking the court to stay the execution of the order to confiscate his property, on the grounds that the Commission exceeded the court order in executing same. There is also another application asking that the court order should be set aside.

While the commission insists on Mr. Akingbola appearing before the court to answer the 28-count charge bordering on money-laundering and other financial crimes, counsel to the applicant holds that the court order, which confiscated Mr. Akingbola's assets should be 'discharged, vacated and nullified' on the grounds that it was heard in the judge's chambers rather than in open court, and that his client was not at anytime arrested.

Mr. Akingbola was sacked as the CEO of the bank alongside four other bank chiefs by the governor of Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido, on August 14, 2009; his whereabouts has been unknown since then.

He was, however, charged to court on account of a 28-count charge levied against him on money-laundering and other economic crimes, allegedly amounting to about N346 billion in his capacity as the Executive Vice Chairman and Group MD of Intercontinental Bank Plc.

In the absence of Mr. Akingbola, the Commission had obtained an order of the court, freezing his bank accounts and that of his wife, Anthonia Akingbola, his companies and those of his agents, amongst other orders, pending the final determination of the 28-count charge levied against him.