Law News
Extradition detention: FG opposes ex-Mint boss, Okoyomon’s bail application

The Federal Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, has opposed an application for bail by a former Managing Director of Nigeria Security Minting and Printing Company, Emmanuel Okoyomon, seeking release from extradition detention on health grounds.

Okoyomon, whose earlier bail application was rejected by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on June 26, 2015, filed a similar application before the appellate court on the grounds of his “deteriorating medical conditions” in prison.

The Justice Datti Yahaya-led panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on November 4 heard Okoyomon’s fresh bail application seeking his release from detention pending the determination of his appeal against the May 4, 2015 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which ordered his extradition to the United Kingdom within 30 days to face criminal charges preferred against him in the foreign land.

The Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Evoh Chukwu had in its judgment ordered that Okoyomon should be remanded in prison pending the time the extradition processes would be completed.

The Court of Appeal had granted Okoyomon’s application for stay of execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court but the appeal court had refused his request for bail.

At the hearing of his fresh bail application filed on October 2, the Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr. Muslim Hassan, urged the Appeal Court to dismiss it for lacking in merit.

Hassan accused Okoyomon of “forum shopping,” having filed a separate suit asking for bail before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo after the Appeal Court rejected similar application.

“They were trying to mislead the Abuja High Court, saying that we (FG) were detaining the applicant unlawfully,” Hassan said.

The lawyer said the fresh bail application was anchored on the same grounds as those of the former one earlier dismissed by the appeal court.

He alleged that Okoyomon, who is also a citizen of the United Kingdom, where he is being wanted, could abscond if released on bail.

He said the diabetes ailment which Okoyomon complained of could be referred to any hospital if he could not be adequately taken care with the medical facilities in the prison.

Okoyomon, through his counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), had urged the Court of Appeal to grant the application in view of his “deteriorating health conditions”.

Izinyon said the application for bail was based on fresh facts and circumstances different from the earlier application was based.

He said the fresh application was necessary to avert a “sudden death syndrome” in his client.

He argued that the medical conditions of his client deteriorated after the proceedings of the FCT High Court where his other bail application was refused.

The Court of Appeal panel on Wednesday reserved ruling on the bail application.

According to the Federal Government, Okoyomon is being wanted by the United Kingdom government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria, the NSPM and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

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