Sunday, August 7, 2022

EFCC should let Okorocha travel abroad for medical treatment: Court

“But if I grant this application and the defendant fails to appear on the next adjourned date, I will make an order declaring him wanted.”

• July 6, 2022
Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha
Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha [Photo credit: BBC]

The Abuja Division Federal High Court has granted an application filed by Rochas Okorocha, seeking an order to grant him leave to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, while granting the order after Mr Okorocha’s counsel, Ola Olanipekun, moved the motion to the effect but warned the lawmaker against failure to appear on the next adjourned date.

On Thursday, Mr Okorocha, representing the Imo West senatorial district, approached the court with the motion through his lawyer, Daniel Alumun.

Upon resumed hearing on Tuesday, Mr Okorocha’s counsel told the court that he had a motion on notice marked: FHC /ABJ/CS/28/2022 dated June 22 and filed June 27.

The lawyer said the motion sought an order granting the applicant (Mr Okorocha) leave to travel outside Nigeria for medical treatment; and return before November 7, the next adjourned date for his trial.

But the EFCC’s lawyer and director of legal services, Chile Okoroma, opposed the request. He explained how the applicant flouted the anti-corruption agency’s earlier administrative bail.

Mr Okoroma, who considered Mr Okorocha a flight risk, said if allowed to travel abroad, the lawmaker would jump bail.

The judge, however, said, “I am going to grant this application. But if I grant this application and the defendant fails to appear on the next adjourned date, I will make an order declaring him wanted.”

The judge ordered Mr Okorocha to return his travel documents to the court registry no later than three days upon his return.

The lawmaker also sought a consequential order to release his passport deposited with the court registrar in partial fulfilment of the conditions for the bail granted to him.

He further sought for “a consequential order that reliefs (1) and (2) above be communicated by the registrar of this honourable court to the Nigerian Immigration Service, to facilitate the passage of the applicant.

(NAN)

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