Court okays Oronsaye’s request for medical treatment abroad
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has endorsed the request of former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Oronsaye is standing trial for a 24-count charge bothering on alleged corruption to the tune of N1.9 billion.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, which was scheduled for the commencement of a trial within trial for the second defendant, Osarenkhoe Afe, Counsel to Oronsaye, Kola Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), presented an application, seeking the order of the court to allow the first defendant travel abroad for medical treatment.
In his submission, Okeaya-Inneh urged the court to release Oronsaye’s international passport to enable him travel for a routine medical checkup as well as receive treatment for a specific ailment.
Oronsaye had deposited his passport with the court as part of his bail conditions.
Okeaya-Inneh assured the court that if the travel document was released, Counsel to the defendant would ensure that he returned after his treatment to continue with his trial.
He further informed the court that the lead Counsel to Oronsaye, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), had assured the court before bail was granted to him that he (Oronsaye) would always be available in court.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, however insisted that the defendant must deposit something else with the court to replace the passport.
His argument was that the court accepted the assurances of the defence counsel because bail had not been granted but since bail has been granted, he would accept the application only if there was a guarantor.
The trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, however agreed with the Prosecution that something must be deposited to serve as a replacement for the passport.
He held that since the defendant had to leave the shores of the country, it has become a “different ball game” and therefore, he must produce sureties.
He, however, put down the names of the three SANs defending Oronsaye – Agabi, Okeaya-Inneh and Joe Agi as his sureties.
He also told the defendant to use the opportunity of the court’s vacation from July 12 to September 12 to travel for the treatment.
Justice Kolawole also advised the first defendant to get a certified copy of the proceedings that would allow him travel out, adding that Oronsaye upon return to the country must within 72 hours, return his international passport through his counsel.
Justice Kolawole ruled that having already adjourned the matter to June 28 and July 7, it would only be fair to allow the prosecution call on remaining witnesses.
The matter was thereby adjourned to June 28, for continuation of the trial-within-trial.