The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to decline granting permission for overseas medical trip to one of the seven officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency being tried for an alleged fraud of N2.8bn in the agency.
The EFCC had on April 12, 2016 arraigned the Managing Director of NAMA, Ibrahim Abdusalam, and six other officials of the agency for an alleged fraud of N2.8bn perpetrated within NAMA between August 2013 and January 2016.
The 21 counts pressed against the accused persons bordered on conspiracy, advanced fee fraud and money laundering.
But upon reading the charges to them, they pleaded not guilty following which the court admitted them to a N20m bail each with one surety in like sum.
They were also ordered to deposit their passports in the custody of the court pending the conclusion of the trial.
On Tuesday, however, the fifth defendant, Adegorite, appeared in court with her lawyer, Mr. A.B. Onifade, with an application seeking the release of her passport to enable her travel to Dubai for medical treatment.
Onifade told Justice Kuewumi that his client was suffering from acute sinusitis and hypertensive heart disease.
He said it was trite law that the court could not conduct trial in the absence of an accused person, adding that the kind of ailment which the fifth defendant was suffering from could be treated in a Nigerian hospital.
He described the defendant’s application as frivolous and one aimed at misleading the court.
But the defence counsel, Onifade, assured the judge that his client would not jump bail, pointing out the fact that she is wife to the 2nd defendant in the case.
He also said the EFCC was aware of his client’s ill health, recalling that the commission earlier granted her an administrative bail on that basis.
After hearing the two parties out Justice Kuewumi fixed July 15, 2016 for ruling.