Justice Mohammed Idris of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday refused an application by Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, to travel overseas for medical treatment.
In his ruling, Mr. Idris said the prosecution presented overwhelming evidence to show that Mr. Dudafa’s ailment could be treated within Nigeria.
The judge added that Mr. Dudafa failed to back his application with “hard evidence.”
“In view of the prosecution’s overwhelming evidence before me,” the judge said, “I find it difficult to grant this application. I hereby dismiss this application.”
Mr. Dudafa, through his lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole, a senior advocate of Nigeria, had urged the court to order the release of his international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical care for spinal cord injury allegedly sustained while in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
But the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, argued against the application on the grounds that the EFCC had written to a Lagos State government hospital to examine Mr. Dudafa’s health and to determine whether he could be treated in the country or abroad.
Mr. Dudafa and Mr. Joseph Iwuejo, who the EFCC claimed helped him perpetrate the alleged fraud, are standing trial on 23 counts of money laundering.
The EFCC alleged that between June 2013 and June 2015, the accused used different companies to fraudulently launder various sums of money to the tune of N 5.1billion.
Some of the companies include Seagate Property Development & Investment Ltd; Avalon Global Property Development Company Ltd; Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd.
Others are: Rotate Interlink Services Ltd; Ibejige Services Ltd; DeJakes Fast Food & Restaurant Nigeria Ltd; and Ebiwise Resources.
The case was adjourned until November 15 for the defence lawyer to cross-examine a witness.