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N5b Fraud: S’Court Orders Ex-Intercontinental Bank Boss To Face Trial

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The Supreme Court has ordered a former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc,, Dr. Erastus Akingbola, to return to the Lagos Federal High Court to face his trial over N5 billion fraud charges.

The Supreme Court, in its judgement delivered by a five-man panel led by Justice Tanko Muhammad, unanimously affirmed the February 20, 2015, Appeal Court judgment in Lagos.

The appellate court had overturned the Federal High Court’s decision and struck out the charges.

The apex court judge, Justice Sidi Bage, who read the judgment, said Akingbola’s appeal challenging the Court of Appeal’s verdict lacked merit.

He, therefore, ordered that the case be remitted to the Federal High Court and handled by another judge in the Lagos Division.

He also ordered that the case be given “expeditious trial”.

The trial was prematurely terminated in April 2012 by Justice Charles Archibong in a judgment delivered on April 2, 2012.

Justice Archibong struck out the 26 counts contained in a charge numbered FHC/L/443C/2013 filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] against Akingbola.

He premised his judgement on the grounds that the prosecution was not diligent in the handling of the case.

Archibong, now retired, also described the EFCC prosecution team as a drain in the public purse and directed the Attorney-General of the Federation to disband them.

The judge’s decision later earned him a compulsory retirement by the National Judicial Council [NJC].

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