A Lagos High Court judge, Olabisi Akinlade, yesterday granted the application of a former director of Afribank Nigeria Plc, Chinedu Onyia, to go for medical checkup in the United Kingdom.
Onyia is standing trial alongside former managing director of Afribank, Sebastian Adigwe; a stockbroker, Peter Ololo and his company, Falcon Securities Limited; former Chairman of Afribank, Osa Osunde and former executive directors – Jibrin Isah, Isa Zailani, Henry Arogundade and Isa Zailani.
They are standing trial over alleged abuse of office, banking malpractices and money laundering to the tune of N55 billion filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
Onyia had in his application dated July 10, filed by his lawyer Kolade Obafunmi, sought the leave of the court to travel abroad for checkup.
Moving the application, Onyia’s lawyer reminded the court that a similar application was granted by the court in 2011 allowing the defendant to travel out for treatment.
In her ruling, Justice Akinlade granted the application but said the defendant must return his international passport to the court registrar latest by September 10.
It would be recalled that a prosecution witness, Emmanuel Al-Hassan with EFCC had told the court that the defendants granted questionable loans to different companies to buy shares of blue chip organisations, which sums were later diverted.
Led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Dr. K. Ekwueme, Al-Hassan told the court that Adigwe and other directors transferred N15 billion in favour of Rehoboth Asset Limited.
According to him, the money was approved as loan by the defendants at the 252nd board meeting of Afribank to buy shares of blue chip companies on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.