Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday washed her hands off the criminal case filed against Lagos-based activist lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judge, who announced her decision in the open court, said it was based on “personal reasons.”
She said she had decided to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for assignment to another judge.
Out of nine witnesses listed to testify, EFCC had already called two.
The EFCC, in the case, marked, FHC/L/181c/2016, accused Adegboruwa of dealing in a landed property in defiance of a court order.
It arraigned the lawyer on May 13, 2016 on one count alongside one Jonathan Udeagbala, said to be at large.
The anti-graft agency claimed that Adegboruwa and Udeagbala dealt in a property “lying, being and situate at House 105, Nicon Estate, Lekki, Lagos,” without the authorisation of the EFCC.
The prosecution said property was a subject of litigation before Justice C. A. Balogun of the Lagos State High Court.
The EFCC claimed that on August 13, 2013, Adegboruwa and Udeagbala leased the property in defiance of an order of interim injunction made by Justice Balogun on June 18, 2012, concerning the property.
The defendants were accused of leasing the property to one Shelf Drilling Nigeria Limited in the sum of N61,631,944.65, which the EFCC claimed was credited to Adegboruwa’s account with Zenith Bank.
The prosecutor claimed that Adegboruwa and Udeagbala committed an offence punishable under Section 32(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.
But Adegboruwa pleaded not guilty, following which Justice Oguntoyinbo admitted him to a N10m bail with two sureties in like sum.
The sureties, the judge said, must be landed property owners in Lagos, whose bank account details and office and residential addresses must be verified by the court’s registrar.
Meanwhile, a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, presided over by Justice Aishat Opesanwo, had, after Adegboruwa’s arraignment, reportedly vacated the interim order of Justice C.A. Balogun, which the EFCC alleged that Adegboruwa defied.