Abuja - A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the release of Sen. Mohammed Ndume’s travel documents to him to enable him travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Umral or the lesser Hajj.
Ndume, a serving senator from Borno, is standing trial for allegedly financing the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, in his ruling on Tuesday, said the relief was granted to allow the accused to perform the Islamic religious rites.
Kolawole said the prosecution failed to show how the accused’s trip to the Holy Land would breach the country’s security.
``After thorough study of the application and the preliminary objections that went with it, I then come to the conclusion that the applicant be allowed to perform his religious rites.
``I am not particularly convinced that the court should grant the prayer of the accused person in order to travel for medical checkup.
``This is because the applicant has failed to state the nature of illness, referral letter or better still, convince the court of lack of hospitals, doctors or equipment to handle the case locally.
``The only ground that gives life to the application is simply that the accused has the constitutional right to perform his religious rites.
``The Registrar of the Court is hereby ordered to release the travel documents of the accused person to enable him exit the country to perform the lesser hajj in Mecca between Aug. 1 and Aug. 30.
``If the accused undergoes medical checkup, he must, within 72 hours of his return, furnish the court and the prosecutor with the progress report from the Saudi-German Specialist Hospital.’’
Mrs Olufumilayo Fatunde, the prosecution counsel, had argued that the application was meant to indulge the accused person, as according to her, the trip could further negate the country’s security.