Metuh May Return To Jail Earlier Than Expected If…
The former spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, may have just few days left to walk the streets as a free man except he heeds to the warning of a court
At the hearing of his case on Thursday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Okon Abang asked Mr Metuh to be present at his trial on February 5 or face jail.
Justice Okon Abang gave the order when he delivered ruling in an application filed by Metuh, seeking an adjournment to his trial on health grounds.
Trash And A Useless Paper
The judge said that the letter which Metuh wanted the court to rely on to grant the adjournment was not a proper document before the court.
“I agree with the prosecution that the purported letter written by Dr O.C. Ekweogwu, who is unknown to the court, is trash and a useless paper meant for the dustbin, which was dumped on the court by the defence.
“The said letter was fraudulently smuggled into the records of the court by a person unknown to the court with the intent to stall proceedings," he stated.
The judge further explained that there was a laid down procedure for filing a medical report in court, which was not followed.
He said it was not the place of a medical practitioner to write a lengthy letter with several medical terms that were meaningless to the court.
“The medical practitioner is to state the name of the illness and the period that the person will be incapacitated,”
The judge further said that although the application by the prosecution to revoke Metuh’s bail and commit him to prison deserved to succeed, he would not grant it based on compassionate grounds.
“It is my humble view that the application of the prosecution to revoke the defendant’s bail deserves to succeed, but I have given due consideration to the arguments of counsel to the defendant.
“In view of the passionate plea of the defendant’s counsel who I have respect for, I hereby suspend my decision to revoke bail, but I ask that the defendant turns a new leaf.”
The judge, however, said that if Metuh failed to appear in court on the next adjourned date, he would revoke the bail.
“Arrest is a consequential order if bail is revoked, and so if the defendant’s bail is revoked, he will be arrested.
“The outcome of his response when he appears in court will determine whether or not to put him in prison.”
The court said that it was not inclined to try Metuh in absentia, as it was contrary to Section 266 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the judge further granted the application
by the defendant’s counsel to bring seven additional witnesses, saying he will
not accept any application for more witnesses.
He adjourned the matter until February 5 and 6 for continuation of trial.
Metuh is standing trial over allegations of receiving 400 million Naira from the former National Security Adviser, retired Collonel Sambo Dasuki who is also standing trial and money laundering charges involving $2 billion.