A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, on Thursday, granted Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Obla, leave to travel to the United States to seek medical attention.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, a serving judge of the Federal High Court, is being prosecuted alongside Obla by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over an allegation that the SAN bribed the judge with N5m.
The judge, through her counsel, Mr. Olawale Akoni (SAN), had sought the leave of the court to travel to the US for urgent medical attention in Morris Height Centre, Bronx, New York.
In a 17-paragraph affidavit in support of her claim, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was said to be suffering from high blood pressure and stress-related issues.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had countered the application, contending that if Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was granted leave to travel, she might jump bail and fail to come back to face trial.
Oyedepo also contended that Ofili-Ajumogobia’s request to travel for 30 days was a ploy to stall the trial.
Justice Oshodi stated, “The prosecution failed to give evidence why the applicant’s sickness can be treated in Nigeria. Also, how the prosecution came to the decision that the defendant would jump bail was best known to him.
“I believe that the 1st defendant, as a Federal High Court judge, has a lot to lose if she considers the idea of jumping bail.
“The Chief Registrar is, hereby, ordered to release the passport of the 1st defendant to enable her to travel abroad between June 7 and June13, 2017. The defendant must return the passport to the Chief Registrar on or before July 1, 2017.”
Also, the judge granted the second defendant, Obla, leave to travel to Houston, Texas, USA for medical treatment.
“The 2nd defendant is also granted leave to travel for medical treatment and must also return his passport to the Chief Registrar on July 4,” the judge ruled.
Justice Oshodi, thereafter, adjourned the matter till July 7 for the continuation of trial of the suspects who were arraigned on November 28, 2016 on 30 counts.
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