An FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday granted leave to Abumere Osagie, a deputy director with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to travel abroad to attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on March 10, 2016 arraigned Mr. Osagie, Deputy Director, Regional Tax Office of FIRS, and one Jamila Ojora on two counts of criminal conspiracy and receipt of gratification.
At the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Olasumbo Goodluck, Mr. Osagie’s counsel Nkem Okoro, applied for leave of the court to allow his client travel to the UK for the ceremony.
Ms. Goodluck granted Mr. Osagie leave to travel after listening to the prayers of his counsel and submission of the prosecuting counsel, Faruk Abdullahi.
She ordered that Mr. Osagie’s international passport be released to him by the registrar of the court and that it be returned as soon as he returned.
The judge said the three weeks Mr. Osagie asked for would start counting from the date that the passport was released to him.
Ms. Goodluck then adjourned until March 14 to rule on the admissibility of a confessional statement the second defendant made to EFCC, and May 22 for continuation of hearing of the case.
The prosecution said Messrs. Osagie and Ojora on January 27, 2016 approached Ahmed Datti, the Chancellor of Baze University, Abuja, and gave him a tax assessment of N20. 03 million through a letter of intent and he paid.
Mr. Abdullahi said that when Mr. Datti requested for the assessment certificate, the defendants refused to give him and instead demanded five million naira gratification.
He said that marked five million naira was delivered to Mr. Osagie through Ms. Ojora in a sting operation, which led to her arrest and confession that led to the arrest of Osagie.
He said the offence contravenes Section 17(1)(a) and punishable under 17 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.