Mohammed Bello Adoke, a former minister of justice and attorney general of the Federation (AGF), has been given permission by a Federal High Court in Abuja to go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with his family.
Adoke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) secured the permission on Friday following successful arguments and persuasion by his lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN).
Agabi, a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, had, in a motion, pleaded with the court to invoke sections 36 and 37 of Nigeria’s Constitution to grant his client’s request.
He stated that Adoke has not been allowed to see his family members who live in the United Arab Emirates since his trial on money laundering accusations brought against him by the federal government began.
In order to preserve his physical and mental well-being, the senior lawyer fervently argued that the former minister of justice needed to spend time with his family.
Agabi argued that even though Adoke is being tried for a crime, the law assumed he was innocent unless evidence to the contrary was presented.
Besides, he further submitted that since his client was admitted to bail, he had been religiously and consistently attending the trial and had never behaved in any manner suggestive of intention to jump bail.
In his ruling, Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo agreed that Adoke had been attending the trial and had never attempted to jump bail, adding that he was persuaded to grant the request.
The Judge thereafter ordered that Adoke’s passport, deposited with the Registry of the Court, be released to him for the purpose of traveling to UAE.
The former AGF’s trial on the accusations against him will resume in Nigeria on January 11, 2024, per Justice Ekwo’s decision.
The former AGF is being prosecuted on 14 counts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in conjunction with oil billionaire Aliyu Abubakar.
According to the charges, Adoke accepted a cash payment from Aliyu in August 2013 in Abuja, the equivalent of N300 million in dollars. As a result, the EFCC claimed that Adoke committed an offence that was punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended).
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