Friday, 24 August 2012
Subsidy scam trial: You can’t travel abroad now, court tells Tukur and two others
The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Friday refused to grant an application brought by three directors of Oil Marketing and Trading Companies who requested the release of their passports to enable them travel abroad for Hajj and business.
The three directors are among several others standing trial for fraudulently collecting fuel subsidy money without importing the product.
The Vacation judge, Lateefat Folami, who presided over the case, in a ruling on the application brought by the trio of Mahmud Tukur, son of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; Abdullahi Alao, son of prominent businessman, Abdulazeez Arikesola-Alao; and Felix Ochonogor, said that she cannot overrule the earlier order granted by the trial courts.
Justice Folami held that she cannot grant their prayers to order the release of their passports especially as the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo ordered the seizure of their travelling documents to ensure that they appear for their trial on the next adjourned dates.
According to her, allowing them to travel for Hajj rites which would begin October will clash with the November dates earlier fixed for trial by the trial Judge. She also stated that the dates allegedly meant for their business trips abroad had been overtaken by event.
The applicants had sought the court’s permission to travel abroad.
In their application dated the 14th of August 2012, the applicants through their counsel, Olaniran Obele said they needed to travel to Paris and London for separate business trips.
Specifically, Mr Tukur, the first applicant wants to travel abroad to attend a board and committee meeting of a company which he is a director and also intends to perform this year’s Hajj.
Mr Ochonogor, the second applicant also wants to travel to Paris to enable him attend a bond holder meeting which should have held last month but was rescheduled to the 27th of August. He said he intends to take the opportunity of the meeting to explain his present circumstance to the board.