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Alleged N2.9b fraud: Court grants Okorocha permission to travel on medical grounds


By Eric Ikhilae,  Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja has acceded to the request of former Imo Governor Senator Rochas Okorocha for  permission to travel to the United States for medical attention.

In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered the court’s Registrar to release Okorocha’s international passport, which he deposited with the court as part of the conditions attached the N500million bail earlier granted him.

Justice Ekwo ordered Okorocha to return the passport to the Registrar not later than three days after his return to the country.

The Judge threatened to declare Okorocha, who currently represents Imo West Senatorial District,  wanted should he attempts to abuse the opportunity granted him.

Justice Ekwo adjourned till November 7 for the commencement of trial in the 17-count money laundering charge brought against him and six others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Other defendants in the charge marked: Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

In the motion he filed for leave to travel, Okorocha said before his arraignment on May 31 this year, he had undergone medical surgery at the Ambulatory Surgery Center, Texas in the US  for “distal femur fracture” he sustained in an accident.

The ex-Imo governor added that he has been on regular/scheduled care and treatment at the same Ambulatory Surgery Center, where he has been scheduled for further medical tests, observation and treatment on July 19, 2022 or immediately thereafter.

He added that it was urgent that he be allowed to attend to his health as scheduled, because the examination and treatment of his pains and ailment would be jeopardised if he fails to meet the scheduled medical appointment.

His lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), while arguing the motion, assured the court that his client would not abuse the opportunity if granted.

Olanipekun added that Okorocha would return to undergo trial.

Prosecution lawyer, Chile Okoroma, who had planned to oppose the motion, changed his mind when the judge indicated his intention to grant the Okorocha’s request, but on conditions.

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