Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High, Lagos, on Monday withdrew from adjudicating over a fundamental rights suit filed by Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN).
It follows Babalakin’s petition to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, praying him to re-assign the case to a different judge.
The suit is a fundamental rights enforcement action against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Babalakin is seeking an order barring them from arraigning him on criminal charges filed at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.
Through his lawyers Wale Akoni (SAN) and Abiodun Layonu (SAN), Babalakin in the June 19 petition, said there was no guarantee he would get justice from Justice Tsoho.
According to him, the judge vacated an interim injunction he made on April 29, barring the respondents from going on with the proposed arraignment pending the determination of the fundamental rights enforcement suit.
In the ruling, Justice Tsoho said the ex-parte order granted Babalakin was intended as a brief intervention to prevent injury and not meant to last a long time.
He explained that the order had outlived its lifespan and was no longer valid.
“If the applicants had filed their application early, the respondent would have responded appropriately. But this case will be adjourned without an award of cost. An ex-parte order is meant to be a brief intervention to prevent injury and not meant to last a long time.

“Therefore, the order has outlived its life span and is hereby discharged, but the respondent should not take any action that will jeopardise this proceeding,” the judge said.
Before the ruling was delivered, EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) had prayed the court to discharge the restraining order.
He said it had been abused by the applicant who he said failed to file the rights enforcement application within the five days interval ordered by the court, but instead served it on the respondent at the court premises almost 30 days later, contrary to the court’s order.
However, Babalakin’s lawyers said the judge discharged the order “without a formal application from the respondents.” They prayed that the case be re-assigned to another judge.
Babalakin had in April sought to stop the AGF and the EFCC from arraigning him again on an alleged N4.7billion fraud.
A Lagos State High Court had in February this year discharged him from the allegation.
Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, who discharged Babalakin, his two companies, Bi-Courtney Limited and Stabilini Visinoni Limited, along with one Alex Okoh, and his company, Renix Nigeria, described the 27-count charge filed against them as being “incurably bad.”
The judge had held that none of the 27 counts filed by the EFCC against Babalakin and others constituted an offence under the laws of Nigeria.

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