Court Says “No” to Metuh Speedy Trial Request

 

. Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa Withdraws Suit

 

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party Spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday to speedily hear his suit challenging his prolong detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Metuh filed a motion at the court, through his counsel, Ifedayo Adetibe, demanding the immediate commencement of hearings on his suit.

Adetibe told the court in his interlocutory application that the arrest and continued detention of his client were unconstitutional, saying that the EFCC has no right to arrest and detain any one, without charging the person to court.

But the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, turned down the application, saying the matter was merely an interlocutory application, not a substantive issue and so cannot be granted an accelerated hearing.

“I so hold that in such an interlocutory application parties before a court can only be heard within the confines of the rules of court,” Mr. Abang said.

He noted that the respondent to the application, the EFCC, had five days to respond to the application, if they are not opposed to its content.

He said the request by Adetiba that the matter be heard, Thursday, could not be granted, since the respondents have five days to respond, excluding Sunday.

Abang therefore adjourned the matter till January 20.

Speaking to journalists after the hearing, the counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, said his client had already filed a charge before the court against Metuh.

He added that Metuh’s arrest and detention were followed an order of court.

The PDP Spokesperson is accused by the EFCC of receiving N400 million, a part of diverted arms money by the office of the National Security Adviser, and has been held for more

The EFCC has yet to arraign him, saying Metuh refused to refund the money.

Meanwhile, Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, says he is withdrawing the suit he filed on Monday to challenge the continued detention of Chief Metuh.

Adegboruwa, who claimed that Metuh’s arrest and detention was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s grand plan to silence the opposition, approached the Federal High Court in Lagos and asked that Metuh be immediately released from custody.

The lawyer had argued that Metuh’s fundamental rights enshrined in sections 33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 of the Constitution were being violated.

But in a statement on Thursday morning, Adegboruwa, however, said he had reviewed the situation and had filed a notice to the court to discontinue the suit.

He explained that since filing the suit on Monday he had been inundated with calls from across the country by people who wondered whether he was against Buhari’s anti-graft war.

He, however, said he was not against the anti-corruption war but only that it must be fought within the ambit of the rule of law.

He said he filed the suit in consonance with his unwavering belief that the rule of law must be obeyed, adding that he had neither never met Metuh before nor received instruction or money from him to file the suit.

The statement read in part, “Since filing this suit, I have received several telephone calls from colleagues, friends and well wishers, some congratulating me for the ‘fat’ brief, some criticising me, some seeking explanations and some others commending and encouraging me.

“The truth is that I have never met Chief Metuh before and I did not receive a dime from him, or from anyone else, to file the suit. I did so based upon my conviction, that it was wrong to arrest a citizen of Nigeria, lock him up in custody and be boasting that he will not be released or charged to court.

“My intervention on behalf of Chief Metuh, is not to shield him from his trial, if found wanting, but rather that as the voice of the opposition in Nigeria, he should not be cowed or silenced, without following due process.

“Through Chief Metuh, Nigerians have had the benefit of hearing the other side of the sweet stories of change, that the Buhari regime has been feeding us with.”

Adegboruwa added that he later discovered that Metuh himself had earlier filed a similar suit in Abuja.

He said he was not a Metuh’s crony, adding that if Buhari himself left office and is being unfairly treated he would equally defend him.

“It would seem now that Chief Metuh  is finding a common ground with the EFCC, in the light of the revelations coming forth, in relation to his case and the promise to arraign him in court.

“I support the anti-corruption war of this administration, when it is done in accordance with the rule of law.

My intervention in securing reprieve for victims of human rights abuses, is not novel to Chief Metuh’s case,” Adegboruwa said.

 

Author: News Editor

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