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Nnamani's application for foreign medical trip challenged by EFCC

By The Citizen


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday opposed an application filed by the former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, seeking the leave of court for urgent medical treatment in the United States (U.S.).

Nnamani had filed an application through his counsel, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), stating his urgent need to travel on health grounds. However, the EFCC, in its counter-affidavit, dismissed the application as an attempt to further delay the case, stressing that the ailment for which Nnamani was seeking leave to travel abroad could be treated in Nigeria.

According to the counter-affidavit, which was deposed to by Ahamefula Ken Mbaeri, the anti-graft agency said that Nnamani was also standing trial before an Enugu State High Court and that granting the application would jeopardize the case, which is to come up on April 29, 2013. It therefore urged the court to dismiss the application.

Nnamani is being tried before a Federal High Court in Lagos alongside others for allegedly defrauding his state to the tune of N4.5 billion.

His application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by one Ayo Ambali, who stated that sometime in 2008, the former governor was diagnosed of having hypercloclesterolemnia and a high level serum Prostrate Surface Antigem (SPA), for which he went to the U.S. severally for medical treatment.

The deponent added that after series of examinations and tests on Nnamani, his personal physician advised that he comes to the U.S. for compulsory intermittent medical check-ups and treatment.

Yesterday at the court, Tarfa moved the application on behalf of Nnamani, while the EFCC counsel, Kelvin Uzozie, would adopt his counter-affidavit today. Nnamani was first arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar and later re-arraigned before Justice Mohammed Yinusa on a 105-count charge of money laundering and economic crimes.

He was docked alongside his ex-aide, Sunday Anyaogu, and six firms linked to them – Rainbownet Nig Ltd, Hillgate Nig Ltd, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nig Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

The financial impropriety was allegedly committed while he was governor between 1999 and 2007. He also became a senator after serving as governor, but lost when he contested again in 2011.

The case was re-assigned to Justice Charles Archibong following the transfer of Justice Abubakar, now of the Appeal Court, out of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court.

Again, the case was re-assigned to the current judge (Justice Yinusa) after Justice Archibong (now retired) was also transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.