A Lagos High Court in Ikeja has granted permission to two prominent oil marketers, Mahmud Tukur and Alex Ochonogor, who are on trial for a N1.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud, to travel to the United Kingdom for “business purposes.”
Mahmud is the son of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
The two men are charged along with their company, Eterna Oil Plc, as well as Abdullahi Alao, son of prominent Ibadan businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao.
Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, ruling on the application filed by counsel to the defendants, Olaniran Obele, directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to release their passports to them to enable them embark on the trip. The men were similarly ordered to return the passports to the commission no later than June 16.
The latest development means the men are being granted a travel window of 12 days, but given the publicity over the subsidy fraud, it is uncertain if they will actually receive UK visas within that time frame. The UK Metropolitan Police is also understood to be watching such travelers very closely when they set foot on British soil.
Justice Onigbanjo adjourned hearing until June 27.