Court grants Nyako, son permission to travel abroad

Stories by Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has granted permission to former governor of Adamawa state, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), and Zulkifi kk Abba to travel abroad. Th e Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on August 7, 2015, arraigned Nyako, along with his son, Abdul-Aziz, and Zulkifi kk Abba, Abubakar Aliyu as well as fi ve fi rms on a 37-count charge bordering on money laundering. Abdul-Aziz is the senator representing Adamawa Central in the National Assembly. Specifi cally, the anti graft agency is alleging that Nyako and his co-accused diverted the sum of N29,099,430,879.92 belonging to the state government.

Th e fi rms, arraigned alongside Nyako are; Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms and Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited. However, after hearing two diff erent applications seeking the court’s leave to travel outside the country, fi led by the 1st defendant (Nyako) and the 3rd defendant (Zulkifi kk), the court said it was compelled to grant the application since the prosecution counsel did not oppose.

In a bench ruling, Justice Abang said he acceded to the request of the defendants having considered the reliefs in the applications, enclosed affi davits and written addresses as well as provision of Section 173(2a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015. Th e court noted that Nyako and Abba as well as the other defendants, had always attended their trial in court. “Th e 1st defendant has not taken any step to truncate nor frustrate his trial; and has always conducted himself well and obediently before the court. “In the case of the 3rd defendant, he has been granted leave to travel abroad before and he honoured the conditions given him by the court, especially by returning his international passport to the court authority as ordered.

“I have no reasons at all to doubt the sincerity of the 1st defendant in travelling abroad for medical checkup and the 3rd defendant to see his family overseas. “I have also considered a crucial issue and important factor, which is the prosecution’s position not to oppose the applications but to leave them at the court’s discretion. “I am inclined to grant the two applications and therefore make the following consequential order. “Th e Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court Abuja is ordered to temporarily release the international passport of the 1st defendant (Nyako) to enable him travel to Germany for a routine medical checkup.

Th e court also ordered “that the passport of the 3rd defendant (Abba) with no: A5003938069 be released to enable him travel to the United Kingdom to see his children who are citizens there. More so, the court ordered that the two defendants shall return the travel documents to the CR, on or before September 25.

In addition, the court held that Nyako and Abba should serve before leaving, a verifi able affi davit that the sureties are aware of their planned trip abroad. Subsequently, Justice Abang adjourned to September 25, after vacating the earlier July 28 date for continuation of trial. Among other counts in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/ CR/293/15, fi led on July 7, 2015, the EFCC had alleged that between September 26, 2011, and May 31, 2012, the accused persons converted the total sum of N1.845bn, alleged to be proceeds of funds belonging to the Adamawa State Government.

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