Sylva seeks court’s permission for medical trip

Channels Television  
Updated June 25, 2012

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will on Tuesday, June 27th 2012 decide if it will allow former governor of Bayelsa state Mr. Timipre Sylva travel outside Nigeria for medical care.

Mr Sylva, through his counsel; Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, tendered medical documents on Monday, asking the court to allow him travel to South Africa on health reasons.

He argued that for the court to have granted bail to his client, the court knows that he (Mr Sylva) will make himself available when his trial commences.

The counsel noted that the application to travel abroad, is a classic example of the constitutional principle of the right to life and freedom and he also urged the court to take particular notice that the application borders on the well being of his client because “only a living being can stand trial in any court of law” he said.

But counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Oghenevu Otemu objected to the application.

He told the court that the defendant has not sufficiently shown the court why he should be granted the leave for a medical trip to South Africa.

Mr. Otemu also argued that Mr. Sylva did not give details of the kind of ailment he is suffering from, adding that a Nigerian hospital cannot cater for his health needs.

He further argued that granting the application of the accused person will affect ongoing investigations by the anti-graft agency.

He therefore urged the court to refuse the application.

Listening to the two parties, presiding Judge, Justice Adamu Bello fixed 27th of June 2012 to deliver his ruling on the application.

The former governor, who is standing trial on a six count charge of diverting N4.45 billion belonging to Bayelsa state for his personal use, is on bail in the sum of N100 million, one surety who owns a landed property within the jurisdiction of the Federal Capital Territory.

Justice Adamu Bello also ordered Sylva to deposit his entire travel document with the Chief Registrar and also ensure that he doesn’t  leave the country without permission from the court.

A tentative trial date has been fixed for September 19th 2012 for trial to commence.