A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday dismissed the application filed by Wale Babalakin, the Chairman of the Bi-Courtney Ltd., seeking to stop his prosecution.
Justice Ibrahim Buba described the application as a “cat and mouse game’’ and held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the application.
Babalakin filed the suit on Dec.19 through his counsel, Mr Wale Akoni, for the enforcement of his fundamental rights .
Buba held that the Federal High Court had concurrent jurisdiction with the Lagos High Court and as such could not entertain the case.
“I do not find any merit in the application. The applicant cannot approach this court to enforce his fundamental human rights.
“The court has a concurrent jurisdiction with the Lagos State High Court on matters touching on fundamental rights.
“The applicant ought to have taken the application before the court of arraignment and challenge the authorities on his alleged harassment.
“If the applicant is ill, then, he should say so before the court of arraignment as only the living can stand to face trial.
“In a criminal charge, trial commences with arraignment and the learned SAN should not be afraid to stand trial.
“The police reserve the right to arrest and detain an accused without a warrant where a criminal charge is preferred against him,” Buba held.
He did not impose any fine on the applicant.
Babalakin’s counsel, Akoni had argued that his client, could not be arraigned on Dec. 12 because of ill-health and subsequent admission at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
He alleged that although Babalakin had been granted a police administrative bail and his arraignment rescheduled for Jan. 17, he was still being harassed by EFCC officers.
NAN reports that Justice Mohammed Idris, also of a Federal High Court, had on Dec.14, struck out a similar suit by Babalakin on grounds of irregularity.
Idris had ruled that the applicant failed to depose to an affidavit of service of the application on the respondents.