By AKEEB ALARAPE
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, yesterday ordered the release of the travelling documents of Mahmud, the son of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur, to enable him travel abroad. Another oil marketer, Alex Ochonogor, also benefitted from the order, as his documents was released. Mahmud, Ochonogor alongside Abdullai Alao, son of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Azeez Arisekola-Alao and their company, Eternal Oil and Gas Plc were arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo for fraudulently collecting about N1.8 billion from the Petroleum Support Fund.
But at the resumed sitting of the court on the matter yesterday, defence counsel, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) said talks were still ongoing between parties (oil marketers and EFCC). “On the last adjourned date, counsel did take a second look at the matter.
“We are in that process and are asking for one more opportunity to come to terms. We have not been able to conclude because of certain reasons, but if we are given a little time, we will be able to make progress,” Oyetibo told the court. EFCC counsel, Mrs. Taiwo Ogunleye corroborated the position of the defence counsel as regards the ongoing discussion. Justice Onigbanjo, granted the request and adjourned the matter to January 30, 2013, to enable the parties conclude their discussions.
On the application for the release of their travelling documents, the court ordered EFCC to release the documents of Tukur and Ochonogor to enable them travel to the United Kingdom and France for business. Justice Onigbanjo said the defendants had kept faith to their bail terms since the matter began.
He, however, directed them to return the documents to the custody of the EFCC upon their return to Nigeria, on or before January 25, 2013.