A Lagos state High Court, on Thursday, granted Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, leave to travel abroad for medical attention.
The duo were arraigned by the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC over corruption charges
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia through her counsel, Olawale Akoni had pleaded with the court to permit her travel to the United States for urgent medical attention in the Morris Height Center, Bronx, New York.
In a 17 paragraph affidavit, she claimed to be suffering from high blood pressure, hypertension, palpitations, and stress related issues.
But, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel for the EFCC, opposed the application, stating that it was a ploy to stall the trial.
Oydepo said she might jump bail and not show up in court again if granted leave to travel.
However, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, in his ruling said the court had 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 7 and June 13, 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 also to 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,” he said.
Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia is a serving judge of the Federal High Court. She is the third most senior judge in the Lagos Division where she sits.
By Bright Bassey