EFCC arrests Babalakin on hospital bed

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, since Tuesday evening in defiance of the order of a Federal High Court, which restrained the anti graft agency from going ahead with his arraignment and trial. Sources at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos disclosed that over 20 operatives of the agency, including armed mobile policemen besieged the hospital where the businessman had been on admission since last Wednesday, to arrest him, despite his precarious health.

They EFCC operatives were, however, prevented from carrying out their mission by the management of the hospital, which denied them access to the ward where Babalakin was admitted. The EFFC operatives, initially, resisted the hospital’s security staff and attempted to force their way into Babalakin’s ward, leading to a face-off that lasted till about 1am the following morning. After failing in their mission, the EFFC operatives resorted to physical and psychological harassment of Babalakin by stationing several policemen and plain clothes operatives at the entrance of his ward, consequently, restricting his movement, in clear contravention of the court ruling that directed the EFCC to stay all actions relating to the case it had against him, pending the determination of the suit before it.

Operatives of the agency, including uniformed policemen, were still cited at the entrance of the hospital’s private wing, where Babalakin was admitted, and its adjoining areas, yesterday evening. Bi-Courtney, in its reaction to the development, yesterday, condemned the action of the agency, describing it as a violation of Babalakin’s rights and an attempt to thwart justice.

The statement by the company’s spokesman, Dipo Kehinde, observed: “This is a new trend in judicial administration in Nigeria and it reflects desperation by EFCC to violate provisions of the law and constitution in order to circumvent justice, and a violation of the basic human rights of the citizen. “It is noteworthy that this brings back sad memories of the days of General Sani Abacha, when the rights of Nigerians were trampled upon with ease.”

The order of a Federal High Court, in Lagos, which restrained the EFCC from proceeding with Babalakin’s trial and arraignment, a copy of which was obtained by journalists, specifically stated: “Also perusing the amended statement, it is clear that serious issues of constitutionalism and the exercise of powers of public institutions and bodies have been raised. By the provisions of Order 34 Rule 6 (a) of the rules of this court, it appears to me that if the order sought is an order of prohibition and certiorari and leave is granted, the grant should operate as a stay of proceedings to which the appropriate application relates.

“Relief 1 is granted as prayed, an order is hereby made granting leave to the applicant herein to apply for an order of prohibition against the respondents and any other officers, agents, or security agencies of the Government of the Federation, including without limitation to the Nigeria Police Force or the State Security Service, acting by themselves, or through any of their officers, agents, privies or otherwise, howsoever, prohibiting them from proceeding with the arraignment or trial of the applicant further to Charge No. ID/239C/2012 pending at the Ikeja Division of the High Court of Lagos State, which was preferred by the respondents.”

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21 Comments

  1. Why should a court grant such injunction that a man accused of corruption should not be tried? The judiciary is our problem in This country, they protect the rich corrupt people while innocent people are dieing in prison awaiting trail for several years. God will help us.

    • the injunction did not stop law enforcement from arresting or detaining him, it only placed a conditional restraint on his arraignment or trial. EFCC should arrest the security men at LUTH for aiding and abetting, collaborating in resisting arrest, useless Yoruba tribalists!

      • @Emeka Anyanwu please is not a matter of Yoruba let us comment on this platform very well this man should be arrested on his bed and put into ambulance to court it happening I egpty so while nigeria own will be difference. Infact if EFCC did not jail Babalakin they should forget any fighting for corruption which means they failed Nigerian as a whole.

  2. Is he going to live in the hospital(even in abroad)his whole life?though he may try that out of desperation because for us,(some) Nigerians, money can make things.If he really committed a crime then he must cetainly pay for it.EFCC TAKE NOTE! timeout.

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  4. Babalakin, suppose not to be given such human right because he is a violator of human right in Nig. It was his fellow friends in the judiciary that passed such ruling in his favour. Anyone that took away public funds meant to develop Nigeria deserves no human right in handling his case at any level. If u didn’t,t treat them in likewise manner, all these rogues will continue on a stealing spree in Nig with impunity. In China, people like Babalakin must appear before the court on their sick bed. Do not treat him as a human because he is not a human being at the first place.

  5. This report is entirely anti-people. Punch is displaying high level of bias and banality. The writer actually sold himself away in his wordings. Babalakin must pay for the finacial crime he committed while the judges that passed such nonsense verdict must be named and shamed. You don’t just report that a ”Federal High Court’!’

  6. I think they are just setting the stage for a mistrial. Why arrest against the order of the judiciary? If the judiciary is corrupt, then change it.

  7. are those judges not his classmates and juniors, what else do you think they will do.let efcc even arrest the whole hospital if that will make them get him.

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  9. I wonder the country in this world they say is more corrupt than Nigeria,transparency international am sure is not doing their job well, a country where thieves ask law courts to stop law enforcement agencies from arresting them and it is granted,this is ridiculous

  10. truth is bitter on

    EFCC are not working for nigeria they re working for their private pocket and to settle the politicians that appoint them .they money they ve been recovering since the organization is formed were is it .pls ask your self this question ,last week swiss release ABACHA money that is the only thing we can read but were is the money .the EFCC should stop making their self a front page headline they are all criminal .let them give us the account and what they do with money recovered

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