A Judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Justice James Tsoho, on Monday withdrew from a suit filed by Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN) against the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Tsoho announced his withdrawal from the suit following a petition from Babalakin’s lawyer to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, seeking the transfer of the case to another judge.
Babalakin, the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Ltd., had sought a judicial review against the actions of the AGF and EFCC over their “alleged desperate efforts to prosecute him maliciously.`’
He was discharged on February 23 by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of an Ikeja High Court, along with Alex Okoh, Stabilini Visinoni Ltd., Bi-Courtney Ltd., and Renix Nigeria Ltd., over an alleged laundering of N4.7billion.
Lawal-Akpo had ruled that there was no basis for the charge and, consequently, struck out the suit and discharged Babalakin and other defendants after two years of handling the case.
He had held that the entire 27-count charge did not contain any single charge that constituted an offence under the laws of Nigeria.
Babalakin had immediately approached the Federal High Court to seek protection and a judicial review of the actions, following reports that the EFCC was planning to file the same charge against him.
Tsoho had on April 29, granted a restraining order against EFCC, prohibiting the commission from proceeding with the action pending the determination of the suit.
The order was later vacated by the judge but the EFCC was asked to maintain the status quo ante pending the final determination of the suit.
At Monday’s sitting, however, Tsoho announced his withdrawal from the suit over Babalakin’s petition to Auta.
Babalakin’s counsel, in the petition dated 19th June, alleged that the ex-parte order restraining EFCC from arresting Babalakin was discharged by Justice Tsoho without a formal application.