Judge decries delay tactics in Akingbola's trial
GUARANTY Trust Bank Plc has asked a Federal High Court, Lagos, for an order declaring renowned businessman, Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola-Alao bankrupt for his alleged inability to pay a N6.9 billion loan facility granted to his company.
The bank also wants the court to order that all assets, interests and holdings of Arisekola-Alao either held personally or through third parties and privies, be liquidated and the proceeds applied towards offsetting his debts.
It further urged the court to divest the alleged debtor of all shares, interests and holdings in all public and private companies and a perpetual injunction restraining his appointment as a director in any public or private company in Nigeria.
The bank said it has imperative for the court to make these orders because Arisekola-Alao is also indebted to many banks and that a large number of his assets have been pledged to these banks as security for the loans.
It noted that the alleged debtor was on the edge of insolvency having lost billions of naira in his businesses and was making efforts to dissipate assets as a result of massive debts owed it and other banks.
It also contended that he is currently selling and transferring his assets to third parties and that he has the intent to defeat or delay the claims by leaving the country or remaining out of public domain in order to be out of reach.
Meanwhile, Judge Habib Abiru of the Ikeja High Court has expressed dismay over the delay being exhibited in the trial instituted against former Managing Director, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Abiru expressed his dismay as the EFCC yesterday failed in its attempt to arraign Akingbola for the third time due to a fresh application by his counsel seeking an order of the court declining jurisdiction to entertain the case.
The application also sought an order restraining the EFCC from arraigning the accused persons in respect of the fresh charges.
"I want this matter to have a clear direction. I cannot grant such an ex-parte order for their release without hearing from the prosecution. It will be presumptuous of me to assume that they are in contempt as you have alleged without hearing from them", the judge said.
Fagbohungbe, in his submission following the attempt to arraign Akingbola before an Ikeja High Court on fresh theft charges, said the EFCC chief should resign because a court has already adjudged her and the Senior Advocates of the commission in contempt.
According to Fagbohungbe, rather than Waziri purge herself of the contemptuous act, she had allegedly resorted to abusing the judge by calling him names on the pages of the newspapers.
The counsel, who has already filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try Akingbola and Bayo Dada, also urged Abiru to order for the release of his client, alleging that the EFCC was trying to intimidate the judiciary.
However, EFCC's lead counsel, Kola Awodein (SAN), asked the court to grant the prosecution a short date to respond in writing to the fresh application filed by Akingbola's lawyers.
Judge Abiru subsequently adjourned the case till May 31, 2011, to enable the prosecution respond in writing to the fresh application.
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