A Lagos High Court on Monday, discharged the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Ltd, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) over a N4.7billion fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His companies, Stabilini Visioni Ltd., Bi-Courtney Ltd, Renix Nigeria Ltd and Alex Okoh who were charged along with him, were also discharged.
Babalakin and his co-defendants had been facing a 27-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and corruptly conferring benefit on account of public action.
The EFCC had alleged that Babalakin and his co-defendants fraudulently assisted convicted former Delta state governor, James Ibori to transfer huge sums of money through various parties to Erin Aviation account in Mauritius for the purchase of a plane.
But Babalakin alongside his co-defendants through their lawyers filed separate applications, praying Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo to quash the N4.7bn charges, with a position that the EFCC, as a federal agency, lacked valid fiat to prosecute them in a state high court.
Counsel to the defendants had also argued that the state High Court has no jurisdiction to hear offences brought under the EFCC Act.
EFCC through its lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), while opposing the applications of the defendants told the court it has constitutional right to prosecute the defendants before a state high court.
Justice Lawal-Akapo however ruled in favour of Babalakin on the issues raised. He also said that the EFCC had not disclosed enough information to sustain the allegation made against Babalakin and his co-defendants.
He subsequently discharged the defendants.