A former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, has asked Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos to permit her to travel abroad to receive treatment for breast cancer.
She said doctors at the National Hospital in Abuja recommended that she receives further treatment abroad after suffering a relapse following a surgery.
Her application, however, could not be heard because the judge ruled that he would first consider a pending application challenging the court’s jurisdiction.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Usman alongside a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
Also arraigned are former National Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and ex-Chairman of Kagarko local government area of Kaduna State, Yusuf Danjuma and a company said to belong to him, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
EFCC arraigned them on a 17-count charge of laundering about N4.6billion. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Fani-Kayode, in his pending application, is asking the judge to disqualify himself because he was “worried and terrified” that he would not get a fair hearing from Justice Hassan.
He is asking the judge to decline jurisdiction and transfer the case to the court’s Abuja division, adding that Justice Hassan, who worked as a prosecutor at the Federal Ministry of Justice and later seconded to the EFCC, signed the charge for which he was previously tried and acquitted by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumobia for money laundering
Usman, in her applications, is praying the court to allow her to be tried separately from Fani-Kayode and for her trial to be transferred from Lagos to Abuja for convenience.
Usman’s lawyer, Abiodun Owonikowo (SAN), on Wednesday prayed the court to consider the former minister’s application to travel for medical reasons.
According to him, since it was a matter of life and death, the judge could hear it before all other applications.