January 27, 2021

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A former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, was absent in court on Monday during the continuation of his trial for money laundering.

The lead counsel to Mr Adoke, Kanu Agabi, told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the former AGF is stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because he tested positive for COVID-19.

Mr Agabi explained this to the trial judge, Inyang Ekwo, during the hearing of the money laundering charges filed against Mr Adoke and a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He added that Mr Adoke tested positive for the virus while planning to return to Nigeria and was thus asked to stay back by the UAE authorities.

He told the court that the former minister, however, tested negative to the virus after he was treated but was unable to fly back to Nigeria as ordered by the court because he could not get a flight.

“My lord, let me apologise to you that the 1st defendant in the matter, Mohammed Bello Adoke, is not in court today due to circumstances beyond his control.

“I thank this court for granting him permission to travel abroad for medical examination.

“Before he left the country, he tested negative but unfortunately, while in the UAE, he tested positive at his point of return to Nigeria.

“However, he is now negative after the treatment, but he was unable to get a flight back to the country,” he said.

The lawyer also added that Mr Adoke will return to Nigeria, tomorrow, January 12.

The lawyer asked the court to extend the time given to the 1st defendant to take care of himself and be available in court for the continuation of his trial.

The judge thus adjourned the matter to March 1 and 4, for continuation of trial.

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Mr Adoke was granted permission on December 11, 2020, to travel abroad for medical check-up. He is being prosecuted by the EFCC on money laundering charges.

The trial judge permitted the former minister to travel on December 15, 2020 and to return on January 10, a day before the continuation of his trial.

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