By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, refused to entertain an application by a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Trial judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor, who is a vacation judge, said he was not convinced that there was truly any emergency in Dudafa’s case.
Dudafa, in the application, had urged the court to order the release of his passport to enable him to travel abroad to treat a spinal cord injury, which he allegedly sustained while being detained in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Dudafa, who is being prosecuted over alleged fraud of N5.1 billion, had earlier deposited his passport in the court’s custody as part of the conditions attached to the bail granted him.
He, however, said he needed to urgently travel abroad for a medical appointment and urged the court to release the passport to him.
His lawyer, Kolawole Salami, said the medical appointment was earlier scheduled for July 18 and 19, 2017 but had to be rescheduled for July 28, 2017 as Dudafa was yet to get access to his passport.
But the judge refused to entertain the application, saying that he was not convinced that there was truly any emergency in Dudafa’s case.
The judge noted that if there was truly an emergency, Dudafa would have ensured that his application, which was filed since May, was heard by Justice Mohammed Idris , who ordered him to deposit the passport, before the judge proceeded on vacation.
Justice Obiozor rejected explanation by Dudafa’s lawyer, Salami, that hearing of the application before Justice Idris was stalled due to the failure of the EFCC to respond to the application despite being served.