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Alleged N2.2bn fraud: Court grants Fayose leave to travel abroad

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has permitted a former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is facing an alleged N2.2billion fraud trial, to go on a foreign medical trip.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke made the order after upholding a February 5 Motion on Notice filed by Fayose’s lawyer, Ola Olanipekun (SAN).

The application sought an order granting the defendant leave “to travel outside Nigeria for further medical examination, diagnosis, treatment and therapeutics, as the exigency of his health demands, on dates which shall not coincide with or obstruct ant date of the trial in this case.”

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It also sought an order that Fayose’s international passport, which is with the court’s registrar as part of the conditions for his bail, be released to him and returned to the court upon his return from the trip.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is prosecuting Fayose through its counsel Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), did not oppose the application.

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In granting the application – moved by another member of Fayose’s legal team, Mr Sunday Olowolafe – the court insisted that Fayose must be in Court on March 18 and 19, 2021, the next adjourned dates.

Fayose is on trial alongside a firm, Spotless Investment Ltd, on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering and conspiracy to the tune of N2.2bn.

The EFCC alleged, among others, that the defendant, on June 17, 2014, “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”

The ex-governor was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5million from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”

The EFCC also alleged that Fayose purchased a property known as No.44, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja for N200million in the name of “your elder sister, Mrs Moji Oladeji.”

But Fayose and Spotless Investment Ltd pleaded not guilty.

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