Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 adjourned to August 12, 2015 for hearing on the preliminary objection raised by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to the bail application brought by Emmanuel Ehidiamhem Okoyomon, former Managing Director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC, whose extradition to United Kingdom, UK, has been ordered by a Federal High Court, Abuja.

The EFCC has arraigned six people for conspiracy, stealing, and forgery.

Justice E.S Chukwu  had on May 4, 2015 ordered the extradition of Okoyomon to UK to face charges of corruption and money laundering.

The judge also ordered him to be remanded in prison custody pending his extradition.

Dissatisfied by the ruling, Okoyomon through his counsel, Alex Izinyon, SAN, approached the Court of Appeal, seeking a stay of execution of the order of the lower court.

The lower court in the circumstance adjourned sine die pending the determination of the case in the Appellate Court.

But in a surprise move, Okoyomon's counsel, Mike Enaharo approached the High Court of the FCT Abuja to challenge his continued incarceration, alleging infringement of his client's right to personal liberty by the Deputy Comptroller in-charge, Medium Security Prison, Kuje and the Attorney General of the Federation.

At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, counsel from the AGF's office, M.S Hassan responded with a preliminary objection. In the supporting counter affidavit deposed to by Abdallah Mohammed, counsel from the Central Authority Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice, he affirmed that the applicant is being detained lawfully on the orders of the Court of Appeal, and “ this honourable court’s discretionary powers are subordinate to the order of the Court of Appeal”.

He stated that, contrary to the applicant’s claim in paragraphs 12 and 13 of his bail application, “there was nothing to suggest that the medical condition of the applicant cannot be taken care of while in prison custody”. He further averred that, “inmates who are sick while in custody are taken to hospital for treatment if need be.”

While explaining that the applicant will interfere with the on-going proceedings at the Court of Appeal if granted bail, he stated that, contrary to the applicant’s assurance in his bail application, “no amount of reasonable or substantial sureties can guarantee the appearance of the applicant in court.”

The applicant's counsel, Enahoro sought an adjournment in order to respond to issues raised in the preliminary objection and counter affidavit on point of law.

Consequently, Justice Ashi adjourned the case till August 12 for hearing.

Okoyomon's extradition is being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company NSPMC and Security International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity
5th August, 2015
 

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