Court Grants Atiku’s Lawyer Permission To Travel Abroad

The Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday granted leave to travel abroad to Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate at the last general election.

Giwa-Osagie sought the permission of the court to travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment – a request that was granted by the court on Friday.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted leave to Giwa-Osagie while delivering a ruling on his application seeking to vary the bail terms granted him by the court when he was arraigned for allegedly laundering the sum of $2 million USD.

However, his younger brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, who also requested to travel to the United States of America (USA) for follow-up treatment on cough-related ailment, was refused by Justice Oweibo.

The elder Giwa-Osagie, who is a partner in the law firm of Africa Law Practice (ALP) and his younger brother, are both standing trial for 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).

The anti-graft agency alleged that the two brothers had on February 12, 2019, aided one another to launder the sum of $2 million, 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.

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.

The brothers, however, filed an application to vary the bail terms, especially, for the release of their international passports to enable them to travel to the USA and UK, for follow-up medical treatment.

At Friday’s proceedings, the EFCC had stated that the two brothers have failed to show that their medical cases cannot be handled in Nigerian hospitals. It added that the medical reports attached to the applications are not from government hospitals.

The EFCC stated that Erhunse Giwa-Osagie’s 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 on Friday, Justice Oweibo, ordered that the elder Giwa-Osagie should file an undertaking 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.

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