Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin
• Released on bail
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested the embattled Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, shortly after he was discharged from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos, where he had been on admission for an undisclosed ailment.
Babalakin and the commission had been locked in a battle of wits since he was invited by the commission in November over allegations that he assisted the former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, in laundering about N2 billion belonging to the state.
Confirming Babalakin’s arrest, EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, told THISDAY that the suspect was picked up immediately after he was discharged from the hospital where he had been under the watch of the operatives of the commission.
He, however, added that after interrogation, Babalakin was allowed to go on administrative bail.
In the last few weeks, Babalakin had made failed attempts, through the courts, to stop the commission from prosecuting him for the money laundering charges filed against him.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos dismissed his last application last week paving the way for yesterday's arrest.
He had approached the court seeking an order to enforce his fundamental human rights by preventing the EFCC, its agents or other security agents of government from harassing, arresting or detaining him, in furtherance of the charge filed against him.
Justice Buba said it was wrong for the applicant to approach the court to enforce his fundamental human rights when there was a pending criminal charge against him.
He said the personal liberty of an individual was not absolute, adding that it would not augur well for the peace and progress of the society if any person with a criminal charge in a court approaches another to enforce his fundamental human rights.
“Nobody is above the law, no matter the person’s position or status,” he had ruled.
He said Babalakin as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) should not be afraid to face the court and dismissed his application as lacking in merit.
Another judge, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, on December 15, had dismissed a similar application by Babalakin for an order of prohibition against the EFCC and the Attorney General of Federation from arraigning him before the Lagos High Court on the grounds that the application was defective.