By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
LAGOS — Adeniyi Onigbanjo of an Ikeja High Court, yesterday, refused the prayer asking him to quash the charge preferred against the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Dr. Erastus Akingbola and another person.
In his ruling against the motion to quash brought before the court by Akingbola, the Judge held that the motion lacked merit, since an appeal court had ruled on a similar application.
Akingbola who was accused of stealing by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is standing trial alongside Mr. Bayo Dada, General Manager of Tropics Securities Ltd.
Justice Onigbanjo said the matter had been settled by the appellate court, while ruling on similar application by Akingbola against the ruling of a former trial judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru, who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
According to him, the appeal court had ruled under Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution that as a government agency, EFCC was qualified to institute criminal proceedings, insisting that he could not do otherwise than to reject the application.
The judge also said he could not rely on another ruling on a similar issue delivered by Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson of a Lagos High Court in Igbosere, which was one of the references by Akingbola while arguing his motion.
He said: “There is no decision on this issue yet by the Supreme Court so the Court of Appeal’s decision takes precedence over the decision of the lower court. I am bound to respect the Court of Appeal’s decision irrespective of my personal conviction. ”
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned till Sept., 20.