The Supreme Court has ordered trial of the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Ersatus Akingbola.
A five-man panel of the court, in a unanimous judgment, affirmed the February 20, 2015 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which set aside the April 2, 2012 ruling the Federal High Court, Lagos, quashing the charge.
Akingbola is one of the bank chiefs against who charges bordering on corruption were filed in 2009 by the Federal Government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
iThe then trial judge, Justice Charles Achibong quashed the charge against Akingbola, in a ruling on April 2, 2012 on the ground that the prosecution was not diligent.
Justice Achibong has since been compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
In its judgment, the Supreme Court ordered that the charge marked: FHC/L/443c/2009 be remitted back to the Federal High Court, Lagos for prompt hearing.
The apex court also came down hard on Justice Achibong for his conduct in the case and for criticising the prosecution team in its handling of the case.
Justice Sidi Bage, who read the lead judgment, said Akingbola’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision of February 20, 2015 lacked merit.
Justice Bage therefore ordered that the case be remitted to the Federal High Court and be assigned to another judge in the Lagos Division for expeditions trial.
A member of the five-man panel, Justice Kumai Akaahs, noted that Justice Archibong, in his handling of the case, acted in a manner that belittles his title as a judge.
Justice Akaahs, who also agreed with the lead judgment and the consequential orders made, said Justice Achibong portrayed the conduct of a military dictator in his handling of the case.