Chairman of Bi – Courtney Group, Wale Babalakion has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.Babalakin was arrested at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, where he has been on admission since his trial for money laundering was supposed to commence about three weeks ago.
Sources within the commission said that Babalakin was arrested from his hospital bed following his repeated failure to stop his prosecution by the anti – graft agency on money laundering charges.
As at the time of filing this report, the lawyer turned business man was being ferried to the Lagos office of the commission for questioning.
Our source said apart from the failure of the accused person to get the court to stall his trial, the commission also had to move quickly as it got intelligence that he had perfected plans to flee the country.
Babalakin, last Friday failed to stop the EFCC from prosecuting him on money laundering charges as Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos dismissed his application for lacking in merit.
Buba ruled that it was wrong for the applicant to approach the court to enforce his fundamental human right when there was a pending criminal charge against him at the state high court, reminding the Bi – Courtney chairman, who is a senior advocate, that the personal liberty of an individual was not absolute.
Babalakin is facing a 27-count charge bordering on money laundering. The prosecution alleged that he transferred various sums of money totaling over N4 billion on behalf of the former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, through third parties.
It is alleged that Babalakin used several companies in which he has interests or controls to get bogus contracts from the Delta State government and for which he got payments that were laundered for Ibori.
The EFCC arraigned Babalakin before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Federal High Court Lagos on November 29 but the accused person did not show up as his counsel said that he was on admission at LASUTH. However, on the same day, and ever since. Babalakin tried to get other courts to stop the EFCC from arresting or trying him. He finally failed in that bid on Friday, paving the way for his arrest and trial.
Spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren confirmed Babalakin’s arrest but said that he might be released on administrative bail today because of the long holiday.