Jide Omokore, an ally of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, was on Tuesday granted permission to travel abroad by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Dimgba had on April 26 granted Omokore permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Kogi-born Omokore is standing trial alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on an amended nine-count charge of diversion of money brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The alleged diverted money was said to be part of the proceeds from the sale of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.
Two of Omokore’s companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited, and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited, were also joined as defendants.
When the matter was called up for hearing, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court of the new application filed by the defendant seeking for permission to travel.
Mr Jacobs did not oppose the application, stating that the defendant was granted a similar permission in April to travel for medical treatment and this is a follow up on the treatment.
The prosecution, however, urged the court to make the defendant travel within the court’s long vacation, to last from July 10, 2017 to September 10, 2017.
He also informed the court of another application filled by the 5th defendant (Membere), challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Jacob said the application was on grounds that the prosecution filed additional proof of evidence, which would allow it to call more witnesses, but he informed the court that he was yet to file his written address.
The EFCC lawyer, therefore, sought for adjournment to enable him to file his written address, opposing the application.
Osahon Osiyinwen, counsel to Membere, said that with a new proof of evidence being filed there was need for the defendant to approach the court for interpretation.
He added that the prosecution had to prove the need for the additional proof of evidence.
Justice Dimgba in a short ruling, granted Omokore permission to travel on grounds that he must sign an undertaking to embark on the trip between July 11, and must be back before the court’s resumption on September 10.
The judge adjourned hearing on the application challenging its jurisdiction until June 22.