By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Federal High Court Abuja, yesterday heard that former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, is stranded in the United Arab Emirate (UAE), where he tested positive for the COVID-19.
This was made known by his lead counsel, Kanu Agabi SAN, yesterday at the resumption of the alleged money laundering charges filed against him and a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, granted Adoke permission to travel abroad for medical examination on December 11, 2020.
The court ordered the release of the ex-AGF’s international passport to him and permitted him to travel between December 15 and return on January 10, 2021, a day before the scheduled resumption of trial.
However, at the resumed proceeding, Adoke was not in court.
Apologising to the court for the absence, Agabi told Justice Ekwo that his client tested positive to the disease at the point of his return to Nigeria, and was subsequently held back by the authorities.
He further submitted that Adoke later tested negative to the coronavirus after his treatment but was unable to get flight to the country as ordered by the court.
“My Lord, let me apologise to you that the 1st defendant in this matter, Mohammed Bello Adoke, is not in court today due to circumstances beyond his control.
“I thank this court for granting him permission to travel abroad for medical examination.
“Before he left this country, he tested negative. But unfortunately while in the UAE, he tested positive at his point of his return to Nigeria.
“However. he is now negative after the treatment but he was unable to get flight to the country. Happily, he will return tomorrow, January 12, 2021,” he said.
Agabi informed the court that an application dated January. 4 and filed same day, seeking for an extension of time to avail the 1st defendant of the opportunity to take care of himself had already been brought before the court.
He then prayed the court to extend the time within which Adoke would be allowed to appear in court for his trail continuation.