Sequel to the order of Justice
Okon Abang of the Federal
High Court in Abuja that the
embattled former national
publicity secretary of the
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
Chief Olisa Metuh, be present in
court yesterday for his trial or
be arrested and sent to prison,
the former PDP spokesman
was yesterday brought to the
court from the Nnamdi Azikiwe
University Teaching Hospital in
Anambra State on a stretcher.
Justice Okon had on January
25, 2018, ordered that Metuh be
present in court yesterday for
the continuation of his trial or
he would be arrested and sent
to prison.
The trial judge gave the order
while delivering a ruling on an
application by the prosecution
counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, seeking
the revocation of the bail granted
Metuh in view of his absence
from the trial for inexplicable
reasons.
In compliance with the order
of the court, Metuh was brought
to court in a white ambulance
belonging to the National
Hospital, Abuja, and was later
taken into the courtroom on a
stretcher, with the assistance of
some medical personnel, friends
and relations.
He was covered with a white
cloth, with a bandage on his legs
and neck area.
When the matter was called
up, Metuh’s counsel, Dr
Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) told the
court that his client was in court
in obedience to the court’s order,
but was not in a good state to stand trial.
He sought a month
adjournment within which
he said the former PDP
spokesman would have been
fit enough to stand trial, a plea
the prosecution counsel did
not oppose, but the trial judge
noted that the court must be
seen to be firm in its decision
and when circumstances came
up, the court must also be fair to
parties.
Justice Abang also noted
that the court must be seen to
be humane, and that having
seen the condition of the first
defendant, he was inclined to
grant the adjournment at the
instance of the first defendant.
Consequently, the court
adjourned the matter till March
14, 2018, for the continuation of
trial.
Metuh and his company,
Destra Investments Limited
are being prosecuted by
the federal government for
allegedly receiving the sum of
N400 million from the former
National Security Adviser,
NSA, Col Sambo Mohammed
Dasuki (rtd), and used same for
political activities of the PDP in
the 2015 general elections.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that
the application by the federal
government for the revocation of
the bail granted Metuh followed
a medical report written by Dr
O. C Ekweogwu of the Nnamdi
Azikiwe University Teaching
Hospital, Nnewi, indicating that
Metuh’s health was critical and
was on admission.
Metuh’s counsel, Dr OIkpeazu
said the said letter written on
behalf of the university, dated
January 21, 2018, was seeking an
adjournment to enable Metuh to
attend to his ill health.
Justice Abang in his ruling
agreed with the prosecution
counsel that the “purported
medical report is a trash, a
useless paper only dumped
on the court,” adding that the
letter was strategically aimed
at delaying the trial, designed
as a subtle way of staying
proceedings in the ongoing trial.
He said the letter was
fraudulently smuggled into
the court’s record by a person
unknown to the court, with the
intent to mislead the court.
“The person who submitted
that letter must be known to the
court, in this instant case, he is
unknown.
“The court of law cannot rely
on a public document tendered
by a non-party in a suit; it has no
charge number and violated the
three ways by which a public
document can be submitted
before a court.
“More so, the court observed
that the said letter was not
accompanied by a verifiable
affidavit, and expressed
surprise that counsel to the 1st
and 2nd defendants could not
see anything wrong with the
letter,” the judge held.
Justice Abang rejected the
purported medical report
and held that Metuh had
not attended trial on three
consecutive occasions without
cogent reasons.
In view of Metuh’s absence
from trial, the court held
unequivocally that the federal
government’s application
seeking revocation of the
defendant’s bail “deserves
to succeed.” He held that
though Tahir did not request
for Metuh’s arrest, however,
“it is my view that the arrest
of the first defendant (Metuh)
is inherent in revocation of the
bail.
“Arrest is a consequential
order. If the 1st defendant’s bail
is revoked, he will be arrested.
The outcome of his response
when he appears in court shall
determine whether or not to
put him in prison,” the court
held.
Just Abang also refused the
application of Metuh seeking
an adjournment on health
ground, noting that “this court
shall henceforth not accept any
other medical report issued by
any Medical Doctor in Nigeria
until the trial is concluded.”
However, the court, having
considered the passionate plea
of Metuh’s counsel and Destra
Investments Limited (second
defendant), suspended the
revocation order.
“I hereby suspend my
decision revoking the bail. It
is expected that the defendant
will turn a new leaf, show
compulsion and attend his trial
on February 5 and 6.
“If he fails to appear in court
on these dates fixed for the
continuation of his trial, his bail
shall be revoked and he will be
remanded in prison custody,”
Justice Abang held.

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