As Dasuki Argues Against Appearance, Court Orders Jonathan to Testify for Metuh

A subpoena witness, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), in the trial of former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, Tuesday, told Justice Abang Okon of a Federal High Court, Abuja, to discharge him from standing as a defence witness.
This as Justice Abang said has subpoena former President, Goodluck Jonathan, to testify for Metuh.
He said Jonathan has been ordered to appeal before the court Oct. 25 (Wednesday) to testify for Metuh.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, are standing trial on seven counts of money laundering involving alleged cash transaction of $2m and fraudulent receipt of N400m meant for procurement of arms from the Office of the National Security Adviser at a time Dasuki was the National Security Adviser (NSA).
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on September 29 had subpoena Dasuki to appear as defence witness at the instance of Metuh.
But moving against the order, counsel to Dasuki, Ahmed Raji, Tuesday, held that Dasuki cannot be compelled to testify in favour of Metuh.
Raji held that Dasuki as an accomplice, he cannot be made to stand as a witness for the co accused.
He said Dasuki has remained in detention despite a court ordering his release.
He maintained that he has been unable to have access him, noting he is willing to assist the defendant but unable to do so because of the prevailing circumstances”
Raji pleaded with the court to “suspend the subpoena execution, pending his release from DSS custody. The law cannot command what is impossible”
He also pleaded with the court to “bend backward and grant the application”
Raji argued further that Dasuki is an accomplice: “His name was mentioned in count one, two, three and four. Being an accomplice, on the face of the law, the question is he a competent witness? The answer is ‘no’.
“Again, anybody who is in detention or arrested reserved the right to remain silence.
“If an accomplice is compelled to give evidence from detention, the right to remain silence is violated. Col Dasuki is in detention, he is a co accused, if compelled to give witness it will make him testify against himself, he may be incriminating himself.
“In conclusion, My Lord, he has not been served personally. In a situation like this he ought to be served personally.
“The applicant who requires the appearance of important witness ought to bring the application, ” Raji held
However, counsel to Metuh, Onyechi Ikpeazu, urged the court to discountenance Raji’s submission, adding he had counter it with 14 paragraph counter affidavit and a written addresses.
He argued that with high court signing the subpoena, the Judge was merely abiding with the relevant sections of the Constitution. He asked the court to dismiss Dasuki’s prayer.
According to Ikpeazu : “In this case he (Dasuki) is neither the first or second defendant. He merely appears as particular of offence of the first and second defendants” .
He argued that the process not to abide by Court of Appeal order will be an affront on the court.
“We wrote them, forwarded the Court of Appeal to them but they never responded,” he said.
The prosecution counsel, Tahir Sylvanus, who also objected to Dasuki’s motion, in an oral application objected to Dasuki’s motion on four grounds.
On the first ground, he said: “This court is subordinate to Court of Appeal, It cannot review, varied, or set aside a judgment by Court of Appeal. It will be a judicial anarchy for the court to review judgment of Court of Appeal and we urged the court to dismiss the objection not to plunge the court into judicial anarchy.
“On second ground the judgment of Court of Appeal is valid and subsistence that has not been appeal against. The court and parties are bound by decision of the court that has not been against.
“Thirdly, the applicant herein not being a party in the proceedings cannot apply to set aside a judgment of Court of Appeal. The court cannot undo an act that has been done. This honourable court cannot embark on a journey on an act that has been carried out. The court cannot suspend a completed action as contained in Section 282 of the Constitution of 1999 as amended.”
Concluding, Tahir said Dasuki application was “dead on arrival, what is left to give it is a burial ground” .
Justice Abang in adjourning the case until Oct. 25, said there was need to reserve ruling to another date to allow the court go through authorities cited by counsel.
Earlier, Justice Abang confirmed that he had signed a subpoena compelling former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court on Wednesday to testify in defence of Metuh.
The Judge confirmed this during the resumed trial of Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited.
Abang said he received Metuh’s application for a subpoena to be issued on Jonathan at about 3.59pm on Monday.
The Judge said: “Indeed, at the close of business yesterday being October 23, 2017 precisely at about 3.59pm, the registrar forwarded to the court in chamber a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify a the instance of the first defendant (Metuh).
“Therefore in line with section 241(1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and having regard to the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal in the appeal CA/A/159C/2017, between Olisa Metuh and Federal Republic of Nigeria dated September 29, 2017 to the effect that it will be tantamount to violating the right of the first defendant to fair hearing not to sign the subpoena.
“I have no option other than to sign a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court on September 25, 2017 (Wednesday)to give evidence at the instance of the first defendant.”

Author: News Editor

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