Metuh Causes Stir, Arrives Court on Stretcher

Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, on Monday, caused a stir at a Federal High Court in Abuja, where he is standing trial for alleged fraud of N400m.
This is after the embattled former PDP spokesman was brought to court in an ambulance, belonging to the National Hospital Abuja. The ambulance has as its registration number, Q4420FG.
Metuh is standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of N400m from the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, for the purpose other than of the national security. He was charged along with his company, Destra Investments Limited.
At the last adjourned date, January 25, the Court ordered the revocation of the bail granted Metuh but suspended the order until today (February 5), when Metuh was expected to show the court why the revocation order will not stand.
In a ruling on the bail revocation application as argued by the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, the court held that application succeeded but had to temper justice with mercy and suspend the order of revocation of bail until February 5, when Metuh was expected to appear in court and state why he was absent in court for four days running without any excusable reason.
Justice Okon Abang held that although, the prayers of the prosecution team to revoke the bail and make Metuh attend trial from prison custody were granted, he however said based on the passionate plea of the defence counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, to show human sympathy, he suspended the order till February 5, to allow the former PDP spokesman come to court to show why the revocation of bail will not stand.
However, at the resumed hearing Monday, Metuh was brought to the court room in a stretcher.
The condition of Metuh forced the court to exercise restraint, at least on compassionate ground.
Ruling after Tahir and Metuh’s counsel had made submissions, the court said it was minded to grant an adjournment.
Justice Abang accepted the plea of Ikpeazu that the trial be adjourned for one month.
“The 1st defendant is in court, but his counsel informed court that he is indisposed to continue trial, and therefore pleaded for one month adjournment.
The court also noted that the prosecution counsel did not oppose the oral application of Ikpeazu that the matter be adjourned to a period of one month.
“I have considered the application of counsel to the 1st defendant, and the response of the prosecution counsel.
“I must say that the court of law must be firm, and fair to all parties.
“Court of law must also be humane.
“On account of condition of Metuh (1st defendant) that I have seen this morning in courtroom, I am inclined to grant an adjournment to enable the 1st defendant attend to his medical needs.
“Consequently, this trial, God’s willing, has been adjourned to 14,15, and 16 March 2018 for continuation of trial,” Justice Abang held.
Earlier, Tahir had told the court to use its discretion to grant an adjournment, while appealing for understanding from the defence lawyers.
“May I disabuse the mind of the court, the gallery and counsel for defence that we are prosecutors and not persecutors.
“We are doing our job and in doing that, we have no ill feelings about anybody” the prosecution counsel stated.
Ikpeazu, through an oral application during the January 23 proceedings, had prayed the court for a long adjournment to allow the defendant to recover from illness and attend his trial.
Ikpeazu, while supporting his oral application, drew the court’s attention to the letter written to the court by Dr. Ekwuogwu O. C, of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, explaining Metuh’s health condition and that he is on admission at the hospital.
Ikpeazu said the court has taken judicial notice that the letter came from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital and signed by Dr. Ekwuogwu O. C, adding that, by virtue of Section 102 of the Evidence Act, the said letter is a public document that emanated from a government body.

Author: News Editor

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