Court Stops Jonathan’s Ex- Special Adviser, Dudafa, From Travelling Abroad

* Pix Source: 123RF.com

 

A Federal High Court Judge Chuka Obiozor sitting in Lagos, today refused to accede to the request made by a former Special Adviser to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, to travel abroad for medical treatment.

In the application, Dudafa is urging the court to order the release of his international passport to enable him travel abroad to treat a spinal cord injury, which he allegedly sustained while being detained in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Dudafa, who is currently standing trial before the court for an alleged fraud of N5.1billion, had earlier deposited his passport to the custody of the court as part of his bail conditions.

He said he needed to urgently travel abroad for a medical appointment and urged the court to release the passport to him.

His lawyer, Kolawole Salami, said the medical appointment was earlier scheduled for July 18 and 19, 2017,  but had to be rescheduled for July 28, 2017 as Dudafa had yet to get access to his passport.

Salami  urged Justice Obiozor to hear and grant the application, saying the health of his client was at stake, but the judge refused to entertain the application, saying he was not convinced that there was truly any emergency in Dudafa’s case.

The judge said,  if there was truly an emergency, Dudafa would have ensured that his application, which was filed since May, was heard by Justice Mohammed Idris, who ordered him to deposit the passport, before the judge proceeded on vacation.

Justice Obiozor rejected explanation by Dudafa’s lawyer, Salami,that hearing of the application before Justice Idris was stalled due to the failure of the EFCC to respond to the application despite being served.

Justice Obiozor said he would not be the one to release Dudafa’s passport to him and directed him to wait till October 16, 2017 when Justice Idris, who ordered Dudafa to deposit the passport, would have returned from vacation.

“Let him reschedule to October; he can reschedule to October,” Justice Obiozor said while declining Salami’s plea to hear the application.

The EFCC is prosecuting Dudafa before Justice Mohammed Idris on 23 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering.

He is standing trial alongside his ex-account officer at Heritage Bank, Joseph Iwuejo, who was said to have aided him to perpetrate the alleged fraud.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that between June 2013 and June 2015, Dudafa and Iwuejo, who also claimed to be Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah, used different companies to fraudulently launder various sums of money amounting to N5.1billion.

The EFCC listed some of the companies allegedly used by the accused persons as Seagate Property Development & Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited and Rotate Interlink Services Limited; Ibejige Services Limited, DeJakes Fast Food & Restaurant Nigeria Limited and Ebiwise Resources.

Presently, Dudafa and Iwuejo who pleaded not guilty to the charges are currently on bail.

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