Peter Fowoyo – Lagos
A Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday fixed September 11 to rule on an application brought by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Olanrewaju Otiti, seeking the release of her international passport to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Otiti is currently standing trial alongside a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide and another PDP chieftain, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun over alleged N650 million fraud.
In opposing Otiti’s motion, the anti-graft agency alleged that she is a flight risk and that it will be difficult to extradite her back to Nigeria if she decides to jump bail.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked Justice Nicholas Oweibo, to dismiss the application.
In a counter -affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, John Idoko, the anti-graft agency while arguing that the court’s jurisdiction does not extend beyond the shores of Nigeria, also maintained that there is no referral note from any hospital for Otiti to travel for any medical treatment.
The EFCC further averred that the applicant (Otiti) has not placed any evidence before the court to show that she cannot be treated of her ailment in Nigeria.
In her application which was brought pursuant to court’s laws and rules, Otiti is seeking the variation of her bail conditions to allow her access her international passport for a foreign medical trip.
Arguing the application, Otiti’s lawyer, Akinola Oladeji, pleaded with the court to grant his client permission to travel abroad because of her failing health.
“We have attached her medical report dated July 11, 2018, from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan as well as her medical history from 2009 up till 2019 to prove the urgency of the matter,” the lawyer said.
The defendants are currently standing trial on an amended 24-count charge over an alleged N650 million fraud.
The money was said to be part of the $115 million allegedly shared by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.