The legal battle between the ex-Chief Executive Officer of defunct Intercontinental Bank PLC may have been won as the Supreme Court, on Friday, granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an order to continue with the prosecution of Dr. Erastus Akingbola over his alleged involvement in 5 Billion Naira fraud.
You may recall that the trial was put on hold following the judgement delivered by Justice Charles Archibong,in April 2012, whose decision in the case later earned him a compulsory retirement from the bench. Justice Archibong (now retired) had in a judgement delivered on April 2, 2012 struck out the 26 counts contained in a charge numbered FHC/L/443C/2013 filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against Akingbola on the grounds that the prosecution was not diligent in the handling of the case.
However,the Apex court in a unanimous judgement by a five-man panel of justices, ordered Akingbola to return to the Federal High Court in Lagos to face charges against him.
A five-man panel led by Justice Tanko Muhammad unanimously affirmed the February 20, 2015 judgement of the Court of Appeal in Lagos which had overturned the Federal High Court’s decision striking out the charges and ordering that the case be remitted to the federal High Court and to be handled by another judge expeditiously..
Meanwhile,Justice Sidi Bage, while reading the lead judgment of the apex court, said Akingbola’s appeal challenging the Court of Appeal’s verdict lacked merit.