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Murder Case:  S’Court Botches Ojukaye’s Attempt To Escape Trial

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant permission to the sacked Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree to travel to the Dubai, for a medical appointment.

Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, an ally of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi is to face prosecution over allegation of murder of a man during the 2015 election in Asari-Toru Local government area of the state.

Ojukaye is to stand trial for murder in High Court of Rivers state in charge no: PHC/997/2016/CR, between The State Vs. Ojukaye Flag Amachree.

He was refused bail on May 26, 2016 by a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, but on November 24, 2016, the Court of Appeal granted him bail.

The apex court barred Amachree from travelling in a ruling delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro on Thursday, upon an application for leave to travel filed by the APC chieftain.

The motion on notice was brought pursuant to  sections 33, 36(5) and (6), and section 41 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

It was endorsed and filed by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, on March 7, 2017.

Edward Okpe announced appearance for the prosecution while Roland Otaru SAN represented Amachree.

By the motion, Hon Ojukaye Flag Amachree, the respondent/applicant, had sought an order granting him leave to travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirate, to enable him meet up with the medical appointment scheduled with one Dr George Davis.

Pursuant to relief (1) above, Amachree pleaded for a consequential order for the release of his international passport(s), with passport no: A04003142, which one was deposited with the registrar of the Court of Appeal as part of the conditions of the bail granted to him for the purpose of facilitating his travel to Dubai for medical appointment.

More so, he demanded for an order directing him to return his international passport to the registrar of the Court of Appeal upon his return to Nigeria.

Amachree stated that following his detention and subsequent release by the appellate court, his health deteriorated leading to his collapse and resuscitation on various occasion both in and out of prison.

The respondent/ applicant stated that the Saudi German Hospital had agreed to treat him and therefore scheduled an appointment with him for February 16, 2016 at Dubai, UAE.

Amachree said he could not travel abroad for treatment because his international passport has been with the DCR of Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt.

He stated that a similar application had earlier been filed at the Court of Appeal on 24th January, 2017 but was struck out on February 28, 2017.

But in his ruling, Justice Okoro noted that the “medical update letter”, dated 15th December 2016, written by Dr Ahmed Mousa, a consultant neurologist, St Patrick's Hospital Ltd, Port Harcourt had no connection with the type 2 mellitus diabetes, which Amachree is said to be suffering from.

The letter was endorsed by Dr Ibitrokoemi Karubo, consultant intermist /endocrinalogist, Medical Director, St Patrick's Hospital Ltd, Port Harcourt.

In addition, the apex court panel presided over by the Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, observed that the accused person has not taken plea up till date, after 25 adjournment because of his refusal to appear in court.

Recall that Ojukaye Flag – Amachree, was slammed with a fresh five-count charge bordering on the alleged murder of one Iminabo Dokubo, attempted murder of Ipalibo Jackson and related issues before a High Court in Port Harcourt.