By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
An Abuja magistrate court sitting in Kado, Life Camp, yesterday granted the Action Congress governorship candidate in the 2007 general elections in Osun state,Â Rauf Aregbesola leave to travel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.
Ruling on an application filed by Aregbesola yesterday, trial magistrate Kabir Lamido said he is convinced on the basis of a passenger receipt dated June 6 2009, that the accused person had already concluded plans to go for the lesser hajj before his arrest and subsequent arraignment on August 10, adding that it would amount to an infringement if the embattled politicians is barred from going to fulfil his religious obligations.
Dismissing the arguments of the prosecuting counsel, Mr Boniface Asogwa that the intention of the police to consolidate the suit involving one Yinka Oyedara andÂ Aregbesola, which were already slated for September 8, would be jeopardized should Aregbesola be permitted to travel to Saudi Arabia before that time, the Magistrate held that it would not be since it is the same counsel that would beÂ appearing for both accused persons.
He added that the court took judicial notice of an appeal made to it by counsel to the accused persons, Mr Kunle Adegoke to the effect that Aregbesola would be back to the country immediately after hajj to continue his trial.
Consequently, further hearing on the matter was shifted till October 2, to enable the 52_year_old politician who is standing criminal trial for allegedly tendering forged police report as genuine, to attend the lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia.