Metuh Insists, Jonathan Must Come to Court to Testify for Him

Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, insisted on Tuesday that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan must testify for him in court.
This is as the bailiff of the Federal High Court in Abuja was admonished to make another effort to serve the former President with subpoena notice to appear in court to testify in the money laundering charge preferred against Metuh.
However, just as Metuh insisted that Jonathan should be made to come to court as defence witness, the court ordered Metuh to call another defence witness.
The court had, on Monday, adjourned till Tuesday for Metuh to call another witness, apart from Jonathan or give evidence personally to prove his innocence in the allegations against him, pending when the subpoena will be served on the former President to appear in court to testify for him.
At the resumed trial Tuesday, Metuh did not call any witness to testify for him, rather he insisted that the former President must appear to testify for him as his testimony will determine whether he (Metuh) will have to give any evidence in the matter or call any other witness..
But the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang, in a short ruling held that Metuh has failed to give testimony in his matter and adjourned till Wednesday for continuation of trial.
Meanwhile, Metuh, through his counsel requested for the records of proceedings in the matter to enable him prepare to appeal the ruling delivered by Justice Abang.
Recalled that the embattled former spokesman of the PDP on Monday told the court that there are attempts on his life and that of his lawyers following the subpoena on former President Jonathan to appear in court to testify for him.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited are being prosecuted by the Federal Government for allegedly receiving the sum of N400m 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.
Former President Jonathan was billed to appear on Monday to testify for the former PDP spokesman but was not in court as he was yet to be served personally with the subpoena notice by the court bailiff.
The registrar of the court informed the trial Judge that the court bailiff, had sworn to an affidavit of non service of the subpoena notice on former President Jonathan.
According to the bailiff, when he got to the Abuja residence of the former President on November 30, 2017, to serve him with the hearing notice, one of his security aides told him that Jonathan travelled out of the country and that he (the bailiff) should come back on December 11, 2017, to serve the former President the subpoena, summoning him to testify as a defence witness in Metuh’s trial.
Metuh’s counsel, Chief Emeka Etiaba (SAN), told the court that himself, the lead defence counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and Metuh, had received threats to their lives following their move to have Jonathan summoned to testify in the case.
“We plead with the court to allow the bailiff make another attempt at effecting personal service on the former President with the subpoena on December 11, 2017”, Etiaba submitted and asked the court for an adjournment to a date after December 11, to enable the court bailiff serve hearing notice on the former President personally.
He informed the court that Jonathan’s testimony in the matter is very important as, according to him, will determine whether Metuh will testify in the matter or not.
While opposing the application for adjournment by the defence, Sylvanus Tahir, representing the Federal Government in the matter said the personal service is not the only way through which summons can be served on a witness.
“The law is dynamic and proactive. While Section 123 (a) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) makes provision for personal service, there are alternative provisions, such as Section 124 of the same Act which provides for service by pasting the summons at some conspicuous part of the premises or places which the intended witness resides”, he said.
Tahir said the summons can be served on the intended witness through courier and added that due diligence has been exercised by the bailiff of the court, thereby justifying an alternative means of service.
He therefore called on the court to order Metuh to produce his next witness in the matter if effecting personal service on Jonathan was not possible or in the alternative, set aside the subpoena notice since Metuh who asked for it is not ready to execute it.
Delivering a bench ruling on the applications, Justice Abang agreed with the submission of the prosecution that due diligence has been exercised by the court bailiff, whom he said had failed in three attempts to serve Jonathan with witness summons personally.
The Judge said that Metuh’s failure to serve the former President with the witness summons through substituted means was intended to delay proceedings on the matter.
He however gave the bailiff time to make another effort in effecting service of the witness summons on Jonathan and adjourned the matter till Wednesday for Metuh to call his next witness in his defence.

Author: News Editor

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