By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos to dismiss an application filed by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from Oyo State, 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, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and another PDP’s chieftain, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun over alleged N650 million fraud.
In opposition to 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 decide to jump bail.
In a counter affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, John Micheal Idoko, the anti-graft agency while arguing that the court’s jurisdiction does not extend beyond the shores of Nigeria also maintained that there was no referral note from any hospital for Otiti to travel for any medical treatment.
It was 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.
“There is no fact within the content of this application and the supporting documents filed by the applicant did not state reasonable ground for this Honourable Court to grant her application but only to cast doubt in the mind of the court due to its variation.
“Should the Honourable Court be inclined to granting the application, conditions that will ensure the applicant return to face her trial must be attached”, the deponent averred.
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 11th July, 2018, from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan as well as her medical history from 2009 up till 2019 to prove the urgency of her the matter”, the lawyer said.
Ruling on the application has been reserved till Wednesday.
The defendants are currently standing trial on an amended 24-count charge of 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 election.