The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday granted Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Yakubu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on a six-count charge of money laundering and false declaration of asset.
At the resumed hearing of the case, the defendant, through his counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), begged the court to allow him to travel to the UK to complete his medical treatment.
Raji informed the court that the defendant was undergoing medical treatment before he was summoned by the EFCC to return to the country. He also pleaded with the court to order the release of the defendant’s international passport which was deposited with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court as part of his bail conditions.
In his response, counsel to EFCC, Mr Ben Ikani, said he would not object to the application since it was based on health ground.
While leaving the request to the discretion of the court, Ikani, however, urged the trial Judge to release the passport to Raji, the defendant’s lawyer.
In his ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he was disposed to granting the motion since it was not opposed by the prosecution.
Consequently, he granted the defendant three weeks permission to travel to the UK for completion of his medical treatment. The court held that the three weeks period would commence from May 25.
It directed that one the sureties must file a separate affidavit agreeing to be held liable should the defendant fail to return to Nigeria to face his trial.
Before adjourning the trial till July 6, Justice Mohammed directed Yakubu to surrender his international passport with the Deputy Registrar of the court on his return to the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant was granted bail to the tune of N300 million with two sureties in like sum.
Yakubu was arrested following a tip-off by a whistle-blower. The EFCC raided his guest house situated at Sabon Tasha, Kaduna State and discovered 9.7 million dollars and 74,000 pounds hidden in a fireproof safe.