By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Dr Erastus Akingbola, the former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, on Tuesday, asked an Ikeja High Court presiding over his alleged N47.1 billion theft case to wash-off its hands of the case.
In his preliminary objections filed before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, Akingbola was arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the charge pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Akingbola was charged alongside former executive director of the bank, BayoDada.
When the matter was called yesterday, his lawyer Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, told the court that the applications have been served on EFCC, since the matter is starting de novo (afresh). He submitted that it was imperative for the court to take the applications of jurisdiction to be taken before any further development.
Akingbola was challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that there is a similar charge involving him and the EFCC which is currently pending before the Federal High Court, Lagos, adding that the main witnesses listed in the proof of evidence at the Federal High Court are the same witnesses also listed in the proof of evidence before this court.
According to him, the subject matter of the alleged offences relates to banking operations and operations of capital issues which fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
In its respond, the EFCC argued that the applications were premature and should be held in abeyance by the court.
Ukala further argued that they offend Section 262 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2011 which provides for speedy dispensation of criminal matters bars the hearing of the application.
The judge, in his ruling, opted for hearing of the applications before further development on the matter, he however, directed that the applications should be consolidated and fixed April 2 for hearing of arguments by parties.