The embattled former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, has secured the permission of a Federal High Court in Lagos to travel to the United States of America for medical treatment.
Nnamani is facing 105 counts bordering on money laundering.
He was alleged to have, along with six others, stolen not less than N6.4bn belonging to the state.
According to his lawyer, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), Nnamani had undergone an open-heart surgery following which he had developed a chronic chest pain.
When the matter came up before Justice Mohammed Yunusa on Monday, the prosecuting counsel, Kelvin Uzozie, told the court that the matter was slated for trial and that he was prepared to proceed.
Tarfa, however, told the court that his client was still unfit to stand trial, arguing that it was the position of the law that an accused person must be in proper medical condition to be able to stand trial.
Arguing that the court was fully aware of his client’s condition, Tarfa said Nnamani had missed two earlier medical appointments in January and October, owing to the trial.
Though Uzozie said he was not opposed to Nnamani’s application to travel for treatment, he however lamented that the trial, which began in 2007, had dragged too long solely on the ground of Nnamani’s sickness.
Uzozie said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had filed an application seeking to separate Nnamani’s trial from that of the other six accused standing trial with him, adding that whenever the ex-governor was certified fit to stand trial, he would be prosecuted.
But Tarfa informed the court that he had filed a counter-affidavit to the prosecutor’s prayer for separate trial.
Justice Yunusa subsequently granted Nnamani permission to travel out and adjourned till November 18, 2014 to entertain arguments on the application for separate trial.