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

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

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted him permission following an application by Fayose’s counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN).

Fayose had, through his counsel, sought an order of the court granting him leave “to travel abroad for further medical examination, diagnosis, treatment and therapeutics, as the exigency of his health demands, on dates which shall not coincide with or obstruct any date of the trial in this case.”

He also sought an order that his international passport, which was deposited with the Registrar of the Court as part of the conditions for his bail, be released to him and that he would return it to the court upon his return from the trip.

The application was not opposed by the EFCC.

But in granting the application as contained in the Motion on Notice dated February 5, 2021, and moved by Sunday Olowolafe, the court insisted that Fayose must be in court on March 18 and 19, 2021, which are 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 N2.2billion.

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 governorship 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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