By Innocent Anaba
The Court of Appeal, Lagos, yesterday, granted leave to the former Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank, Dr. Erastus Akingbola, to file additional grounds of appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the lower court (Federal High Court, Lagos) to hear the suit filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, with which his assets were forfeited and accounts frozen.
The court, in its lead ruling by Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (presiding) supported by other Justices, granted Akingbola leave to amend his notice of appeal dated March 17 and raise fresh issues which were not raised at the lower court. The appellate court also granted Akingbola’s request, seeking for extension of time within which to file his brief of argument.
Paragraph nine of the proposed amended ground of appeal relates to the jurisdiction of the lower court to entertain the application filed by EFCC, during Christmas vacation, an issue that was not raised at the lower court.
Moving the application, Akingbola’s counsel argued that by virtue of provisions of Order 46 rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009, all judges of the Federal High Court are precluded from hearing civil matters during the period beginning on December 23 – January 5.