Appeal court quashes N47.5b theft charge against Akingbola

akingbolaThe Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has quashed the 22-count-charge brought against former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr. Erastus Akingbola by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC had alleged that Akingbola stole N47.5billion belonging to the bank.

Ruling on Akingbola’s application on  jurisdiction Wednesday, the court presided over by Justice Amina Augie held that the High Court of Lagos State presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit filed against him by the commission.

Justice Augie said it amounted to miscarriage of justice for the lower court to have dismissed Akingbola’s application challenging its jurisdiction on the matter.

“The appeal is meritorious and allowed,” she declared.

“I am convinced that the lower court refused to align itself with the decision of this court in Nwosu’s case,” she further held.

Akingbola, with his co-defendant, Bayo Dada, had filed two separate applications challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the 22-count-charge filed against them by the EFCC.

But, the lower court, in its ruling on May 2, 2014 dismissed their applications.

Justice Lawal-Akapo had then held that the charges preferred against the defendants were within its competence and jurisdiction to determine.

Dissatisfied with the ruling of the high court, Akingbola and Dada had approached the Appeal Court, praying that the trial court’s decision be set aside.