N47bn fraud: Notice of appeal stalls Akingbola, aide’s trial

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BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH

LAGOS—Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of an Ikeja High Court yesterday adjourned further hearing in the N47.1 billion theft charge against former managing director of defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr Erastus Akingbola and his aide, Bayo Dada due to his pending application before the Court of Appeal, Lagos.

Justice Lawal-Akapo subsequently adjourned the matter till July 11, 2014 for argument after Akingbola’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, informed the court that the defence had already filed an application asking the court to stay further hearing in the trial and that the appeal court has fixed July 3 for hearing of the case.

He submitted that it will be in the interest of justice for the lower court to wait for the outcome of the proceedings.

Same applications were also filed by Akingbola’s co-defendants — Mr. Bayo Dada, General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited.

According to the lawyer, the application was premised on Akingbola’s appeal against Lawal Akapo’s ruling on May 2, 2014 where the court assumed jurisdiction of the criminal case, adding that application for stay had been served on the prosecution and the defence was waiting to file its reply on points of law.

He, therefore asked the court for an adjournment and also to vacate the July 24 and 25 trial dates fixed for the matter.

Counsel to the second defendant (Dada) Professor Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, aligned himself with Olanipekun’s submissions, adding that the court should adjourn pending the hearing and determination of the suit at the Court of Appeal.

Opposing the application, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission counsel, Mr. Godwin Obla insisted that the practice encourages day-to-day hearing of cases before it.

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