EFCC Opposes Ex-Minister Olu Agunloye’s Request for Overseas Medical Travel Amid $6 Billion Fraud Case

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday opposed an application by former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, seeking to travel abroad for medical check-up. Agunloye is being prosecuted by the EFCC on seven counts of official corruption and the fraudulent award of the Mambila Power Project contract, valued at $6 billion.

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Justice Jude Onwueguzie of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo, Abuja, had previously dismissed a preliminary objection by Agunloye, which challenged the EFCC’s authority to prosecute him. Agunloye had also filed a motion through his counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), on February 8, 2024, contesting the EFCC’s jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute him.

In response, EFCC prosecution counsel Abba Mohammed filed a counter-affidavit on February 22, 2024, deeming Agunloye’s motion incompetent and in violation of Section 115(2) of the Evidence Act.

During Monday’s proceedings, a witness, Adebayo Ilori, led by prosecution counsel Abba Mohammed, revealed that multiple transfers were made to Agunloye by Jide Sotirin, an employee of Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd.

Agunloye’s counsel, Adeola Adedikpe (SAN), highlighted his application for leave to travel overseas for medical examination, supported by documents from University College Hospital, NISA Premier Hospital, a letter from the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), and an invitation from a foreign medical analyst.

Prosecution counsel Abba Mohammed, however, urged the court to deny the application, arguing that Agunloye posed a flight risk given his previous unwillingness to present himself for trial until he was declared wanted.

“We rely on all the resolutions in the counter-affidavit and adopt the same with the attached exhibit. We expect our noble lord to dismiss the defendant’s application,” Mohammed stated.

Justice Onwuegbuzie adjourned the matter till July 17, 2024, for a ruling on the application.

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