Thursday, 1 June 2017

Court Grants Ajumogobia & Mr. Godwin Obla's Request To Travel Abroad

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Thursday granted an embattled judge , Justice Rita Ofili -Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria , Mr . Godwin Obla , leave to travel to the United States for medical attention .

Justice Ofili -Ajumogobia , a serving judge of the Federal High Court , is being prosecuted alongside Obla by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over N 5m bribe .

Justice Ofili - Ajumogobia through her counsel , Mr . Olawale Akoni ( SAN) , had sought the leave of the court to travel to the US for urgent medical attention in Morris Height Center, Bronx , New York .

In a 17 paragraph affidavit in support of her claim , Justice Ofili -Ajumogobia was said to be suffering from high blood pressure , hypertension , palpitations, and stress related issues.

Counsel for the EFCC , Mr . Rotimi Oyedepo , had countered the application , contending that if Justice Ofili - Ajumogobia was granted leave to travel , she might jump bail and not come back to face her trial .

Oyedepo also contended that Ofili -Ajumogobia ’ s request to travel for thirty days was a ploy to stall the trial.

Ruling on the application , the trial Judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, pointed out that the court has judicial discretion to rule on the application .

“ The prosecution failed to give evidence why the applicant’ s sickness cannot be treated in Nigeria . Also how the prosecution came to a decision that defendant would jump bail was best known to him .

“ I believe that the 1st defendant as a Federal High Court Judge has a lot to lose if she considered the idea of jumping bail.

“ The Chief Registrar is hereby ordered to release the international passport of the 1st defendant to enable her travel abroad between June 7th to June 13th , 2017. The defendant must return the passport to the Chief Registrar on or before July 1, 2017″ , Justice Oshodi ruled.

The judge also granted the second defendant, Obla , leave to also travel to Houston , Texas in the US for medical treatment .

“ The 2nd defendant is also granted leave to travel for medical treatment and must also return his passport to the Chief Registrar on July 4, ” the Judge ruled.

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