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N5.1bn fraud: Ex-aide aide to former President Jonathan loses bid to travel abroad for medical care

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday rejected the plea of a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Dudafa, who is being prosecuted for an alleged fraud involving N5.1bn, claimed to have sustained a spinal cord injury while in the detention facility of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

His lawyer, Mr. Adegboyega Oyewole (SAN), pleaded with Justice Mohammed Idris to order the release of his client’s passport, so he could seek medical intervention abroad.

But the judge, in a ruling, dismissed the application, holding that it lacked merit.

The judge held that Dudafa failed to disprove the argument put forward by the EFCC and the expert report that his condition could be treated in Nigeria.

“In view of the overwhelming evidence before me, I find it difficult to grant this application; same is hereby dismissed,” the judge held.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had vehemently opposed the application, describing it as a ploy to stall Dudafa’s trial.

Dudafa is facing 23 counts alongside his account officer at Heritage Bank, Joseph Iwuejo, who allegedly aided him in perpetrating the fraud.

The EFCC alleged that Dudafa, in connivance with Iwuejo, used various companies to launder various sums of money running into about N5.1bn between June 2013 and June 2015.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the money emanated from the office of the National Security Adviser then under the watch of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

The companies allegedly used by the defendants were listed as Seagate Property Development & Investment Limited; Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited; Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; and Rotate Interlink Services Limited; Ibejige Services Limited; DeJakes Fast Food & Restaurant Nigeria Limited; and Ebiwise Resources.

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

But Dudafa and Iwuejo pleaded not guilty.

Further proceedings were adjourned till Wednesday.

PUNCH

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