By Innocent Anaba
The lawyer to Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate at the last general election, Mr. Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, was today, granted leave to travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted leave to Uyiekpen, while delivering ruling on his application seeking to vary the bail terms granted him by the court, when he was arraigned for allegedly laundered the sum of $2 million USD.
However, Uyiekpen’s younger brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, was not that lucky, as his application to travel to United State of America (USA) for a follow-up treatment on cough related ailment was refused by Justice Oweibo.
It would be recalled that Uyiekpen, who is a partner in the law firm of Africa Law Practice (ALP) and his brother, Erhunse, are both standing trial for alleged money laundering.
The Giwa-Osagie brothers were arraigned before the court on August 14, on two counts charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
To be precise, the EFCC alleged that the two brothers had on February 12, 2019, aided one another to laundered the sum of $2 million USD, without going through a financial institution.
The offences according to the prosecution are contrary to sections 18(c), 18(a), 1(a), 16(1), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16, 16(2)(b)16(2)(b) of the same Act.
However, the two brothers had both pleaded not guilty to the offences and they were admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.
The court also ordered the two brothers to deposit their international passport with the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) till the determination of the charges against them.
However, the two Giwa-Osagie brothers, filed the application to vary the bail term, especially for the release of their international passport to enable them travel to USA and UK, for follow-up medical treatment.
Opposing the application, the EFCC had stated that the two brothers have failed to show that their medical cases cannot be handled in any Nigerian hospital. It added that the medical reports attached with the applications are not from government hospitals.
In particular, the EFCC states that Erhunse Giwa-Osagie letter of invitation from an American Hospital is undated and unsigned. It, therefore, urged the court to refuse the applications.
Ruling on the two applications today, Justice Oweibo, conceded to EFCC’s position and refused Erhunse Giwa-Osagie’s application, while granting leave to Uyiekpen, to travel to the UK for a month medical treatment.
Justice Oweibo however, ordered that Atiku lawyer should file an undertaken that he would return to the country after his treatment and that on his return to Nigeria, he should return the passport to the Court’s DCR.