The N5billion corruption charges brought against Dr. Erastus Akingbola, former Managing Director of defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc., by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been upheld by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.
Prior to the last Friday ruling by the Appeal Court in Lagos, Justice Charles Archibong of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had, on April 2, 2012, dismissed charge No: FHC/L/443C/2013 filed by the EFCC against Akingbola for what he described as lack of diligent prosecution.
Against this backdrop, the EFCC approached the appellate court, urging it to dismiss the judgment of Justice Archibong, who has since been retired from the Bench by the National Judicial Council, NJC, for gross misconduct,
After listening to the submissions by both parties in the case, the appeal court, in its lead judgement delivered last Friday by Justice Yargata Nimpar on behalf of Justice Amina Aguie (presiding), held that the judgment of the trial court was a nullity and also directed that the case be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign it to another judge for retrial on merit and for speedy hearing.
The Appeal Court further ruled that a judge must have an indisputable basis for his or her judgment.
Other members of the panel who adopted the judgement include: Justices Samuel Oseji and Obaseki- Adejumo.