A former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, yesterday lost his bid to travel abroad for medical treatment before a Lagos federal high court.
A vacation judge, Chuka Obiozor, however, declined to entertain his application to that effect.
He urged the court to release his passport to enable him to travel abroad for the treatment of a spinal cord injury, which he allegedly sustained while being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Dudafa, who is being prosecuted for an alleged fraud of N5.1bn, had earlier deposited his passport with the court as part of his bail conditions.
His counsel, Kolawole Salami, said the medical appointment was earlier scheduled for July 18 and 19, 2017 but was rescheduled for July 28, as his passport had not been released.
He urged Justice Obiozor to hear and grant the application yesterday, saying his client’s health was at stake.
But the judge refused to entertain the application, saying he was not convinced that Dufafa’s case was truly an emergency.
The judge argued that if there were truly an emergency, Dudafa would have ensured that Justice Mohammed Idris, who ordered him to deposit the passport, heard his application, which was filed since May before he proceeded on vacation.
Obiozor rejected Dudafa’s counsel’s explanation that hearing of the application before Idris was stalled due to failure of the EFCC to respond to the application despite being served.
He said he would not be the one to release Dudafa’s passport and directed him to wait till October 16, 2017 when Idris, who ordered him to deposit the passport, would have returned from vacation.
The EFCC is prosecuting Dudafa before Justice Idris on 23 count charge of fraud and money laundering.
He is standing trial with his former account officer at a commercial bank, Joseph Iwuejo, who was said to have aided him to perpetrate the alleged fraud. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The EFCC had alleged that between June 2013 and June 2015, Dudafa and Iwuejo, who also claimed to be Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah, used different companies to launder N5.1 billion.