The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the immediate release of the international passport of a former Minister, Jumoke Akinjide, to enable her proceed to Germany for medical treatment.
Akinjide is standing trial before a Federal High Court in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital. She is standing trial with one Olanrewaju Otiti over an alleged N650 million fraud.
Though she was granted bail on self-recognisance, the presiding judge, Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek, had ordered the deposit of the international passport as a bail condition pending the conclusion of her trial.
As a result of the annual judges’ vacation and owing to the fact that there was no vacation judge in Ibadan, her counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde, came before the nearest vacation judge sitting in Lagos.
He told the court presided over by Justice Chuka Obiozor on Wednesday that the application for the release of her international passport was based on the recommendation of the National Hospital, Abuja, which stated that she needed foreign medical treatment.
Mr Ayorinde then sought an order of the court for the release of the international passport to Akinjide, and at any other times that she might need it for other foreign medical trips.
He also told the court that even though his client is a politician, she was not a flight risk and assured the court that she would come back to the country to face her trial.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Aliyu, did not oppose the application.
After listening to the application, Justice Obiozor asked Ayorinde to personally guarantee that the former minister would return to Nigeria after her treatment.
The lawyer agreed and subsequently made a personal guarantee.
The court then ordered the immediate release of Akinjide’s passport, to enable her travel for medical treatment.
The judge, however, ordered that the former minister must not stay beyond 30 days and refused the application for the release of the passport to allow her travel at any other times.
27 July, 2017