Timeline: Wale Babalakin's road to freedom

Timeline created by segunadeoye
In History
  • EFCC charges Wale Babalakin of money laundering charges

    EFCC charges Wale Babalakin of money laundering charges
    The EFCC filed charges against Wale Babalakin, Chief Executive Officer of Bi-Courtney accusing him of money laundering. The charges against him were related to his involvement with a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is currently serving jail term in the UK for money laundering. EFCC detectives alleged that Babalakin assisted Ibori to siphon money from the state coffers.
  • 27-count charge against Babalakin at Lagos High Court

    27-count charge against Babalakin at Lagos High Court
    The EFCC in a 27-count charge at a Lagos High Court alleged that one Bolanle Olawale Babalakin, who assisted Ibori to transfer several millions of dollars of Delta State funds to Mauritius, between May and December 2006, on the pretext of funds for a construction contract for the state, was the same Babalakin, CEO of Bi-Courtney. He along with Alex Okoh, including Bi-Courtney Limited, Stabilini Visioni and Renix Nigeria Limited, were alleged to have facilitated the transfers.
  • Babalakin interrogated at EFCC Abuja headquarters

    Babalakin interrogated at EFCC Abuja headquarters
    Interrogation of Babalakin at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja over his involvement in the alleged fraudulent transfers. He was expected to appear in court three days after.
  • Babalakin falls ill, absent in court

    Babalakin falls ill, absent in court
    Babalakin, who only three days earlier had presented himself for questioning at the headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja, suddenly took ill, and did not appear at a Lagos High Court for his arraignment. His lawyer, Ebun Sofunde, SAN, told the judge he was on admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital due to “stress”. Sofunde presented a medical report signed by one Charles Hammond, dated November 26, 2012 – same day Babalakin had physically appeared at the EFCC Abuja headquarters for quest
  • Babalakin at LUTH under watch of EFCC operatives

    Babalakin at LUTH under watch of EFCC operatives
    Operatives of the EFCC stormed LUTH to keep an eye on “ill” Babalakin, having got wind of possibility of him evading prosecution.
  • Drama at Babalakin's trial at Lagos High Court

    Drama at Babalakin's trial at Lagos High Court
    Drama at the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, as Sofunde withdrew from representing Babalakin, citing “a personal thing.” Babalakin was absent in court having still being on admission at LUTH. Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, announced to the court that he was replacing Sofunde. Justice Onigbanjo adjourned the case till January 17, 2013.
  • Babalakin's suit against EFCC struck out

    Babalakin's suit against EFCC struck out
    The Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, struck out the suit instituted by Babalakin on November 29, 2012 seeking to stop the EFCC from arresting and prosecuting him. EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs had described Babalakin’s application before the court as an “otapiapia” (poison) suit to “gag” the anti-graft agency from performing its lawful public duties. Babalakin afterwards, filed a similar suit before Justice Ibrahim Buba at the Federal High Court.
  • Anti-corruption group berates Babalakin

    Anti-corruption group berates Babalakin
    An anti-corruption group, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, petitioned the National Judicial Council, NJC, accusing Babalakin of plan to set the Federal High Court against the Lagos High Court. Justice Ibrahim Buba, thereafter, urged Babalakin to be courageous enough “to stand trial” and to “properly” take his “cat and mouse” application before the Lagos High Court.
  • Babalakin gets bail on self recognition

    Babalakin gets bail on self recognition
    Lagos High Court grants bail to Babalakin on self recognition.
  • Court rules Babalakin can travel abroad for treatment

    Court rules Babalakin can travel abroad for treatment
    Justice Onigbanjo ruled that Babalakin be allowed to travel abroad for treatment, and said that the health of the defendant was of priority “no matter how apprehensive we are that trial will be delayed.” Joseph Nwobike, counsel to Bi-Courtney Limited also brought a fresh application praying the court to strike out the charges against the company. Earlier in February, Lateef Fagbemi, lead counsel for Babalakin had urged the court to entertain two applications seeking to quash the charges against
  • Justice Onigbanjo hands off case

    Justice Onigbanjo hands off case
    Justice Onigbanjo hands off case. He noted, at the continuation of the trial on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, that: “The transfer of the case is necessitated by my recent transfer to the Commercial Division of the High Court. Notwithstanding, the court will still deliver its pending ruling on the application of the defendants to quash the charge.” The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, reassigned Babalakin’s trial from Justice Onigbanjo to a new judge, Justice Lawal-Akapo.
  • Babalakin's case file allegedly missing

    Babalakin's case file allegedly missing
    The court’s registrars told the prosecution and defence counsel that they had yet to receive the case file from the Chief Judge. Interestingly, the registrar in the court of the former judge, Justice Onigbanjo, had informed both parties that the case file was no longer in their custody.
  • Babalakin's case file allegedly missing

    Babalakin's case file allegedly missing
    The court’s registrars told the prosecution and defence counsel that they had yet to receive the case file from the Chief Judge. Interestingly, the registrar in the court of the former judge, Justice Onigbanjo, had informed both parties that the case file was no longer in their custody.
  • Justice Lawal-Akapo rules Babalakin can be absent from court

    Justice Lawal-Akapo rules Babalakin can be absent from court
    Justice Lawal-Akapo ruled that Babalakin’s physical appearance was not needed in court until the court hears the suit he filed to quash the charges against him.
  • Case adjourned over several applications

    Case adjourned over several applications
    Babalakin’s case is adjourned by Justice Lawal-Akapo till February 17, 2014 as a result of several applications filed by his counsel.
  • Case adjourned till March 14, 2014

    Case adjourned till March 14, 2014
    Justice Lawal-Akapo adjourns till March 14, 2014 as a result of an ankle injury sustained by counsel for EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.
  • Justice Lawal-Akapo's absense stalls trial

    Justice Lawal-Akapo's absense stalls trial
    Court adjourns hearing in an application filed by Babalakin seeking to dismiss the N4.7billion fraud charge preferred against him and four others, till May 12, 2014. The adjournment was a result of Justice Lawal-Akapo’s absence. He was said to be attending a workshop on Continuous Legal Education organized by the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association.
  • Justice Lawal-Akapo frees Babalakin

    Justice Lawal-Akapo frees Babalakin
    Justice Lawal-Akapo discharges Babalakin. In his ruling, he held that: “I find and I hold that the amended information dated May 7, 2013 is incurably bad and defective and it is struck out. Consequentially, the accused persons are hereby discharged.”
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    Babalakin's "hide and seek" path to freedom

    No one can really tell what was going on in the mind of Wale Babalakin, Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, when Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on February 23, 2015 freed him of his alleged involvement in the N4.7billion fraud charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
    What many might need to know is the “hide and seek” trajectory, as Babalakin and his co-accused, muscled their way to freedom.