Erastus Akingbola asks court to unfreeze bank accounts
A former Intercontinental Bank Managing Director Mr. Erastus Akingbola has prayed a Federal High Court in Lagos, to issue an order, unfreezing his bank accounts.
The plaintiff is suing alongside his companies: Tropics Finance and Investments Ltd, Clifton Investment Ltd, Hijinks Ltd, Merry Thoughts Ltd, Bankinson Ltd and Tropics Securities Ltd.
Joined as defendants in the suit is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
The plaintiff is challenging the continued seizure of his assets, and freezing of his bank accounts since Dec. 31, 2009.
He averred that the EFCC lacked powers to continue holding onto his assets, and money, which they were acquired before the purported allegations of crime.
Akingbola argued that his companies, which assets were frozen, were not named in the charge.
Besides, he argues that since the criminal charge had been dismissed since April 2, 2012, every order freezing his assets should be automatically vacated.
He is therefore, praying for a declaration that his assets, and money, which pre-dates the alleged commission of a crime cannot be seized.
He seeks an order of injunction mandating the defendants to release his assets, properties and bank accounts forthwith, as well as those of his companies.
He also sought an order mandating the defendants to render an account, and pay him all rents, profits , interests, accruals, proceeds or other income generated from his seized assets since Dec. 31, 2009.
In a counter-affidavit the defendants prayed the court to dismiss Akingbola’s application for being an abuse of court process.
They averred that following his arraignment in 2009, the EFCC obtained interim injunctive orders to freeze his assets, and sequestrate some of his properties believed to be connected with the alleged crime.
They averred that the order freezing the plaintiff’s assets has not been set aside by any court and so, still remained valid.
According to them, the suit is an abuse of court process, and lacked merit; they prayed the court to strike it out with cost.
Justice Chuka Obiozor has adjourned the matter till June 30.
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