A Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, declined Olisah Metuh’s application to compel Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser, to appear before the court to stand as defence witness.
The former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party had asked the court to subpoena Dasuki to testify whether the N400m he was alleged to have collected from the office of the National Security Adviser was true or not.
Justice Okon Abang, the trial Judge had reserved judgment for Thursday after listening to both the prosecuting and defence counsels, whether to subpoena Dasuki or not on Wednesday .
In a ruling on Thursday the court also declined Metuh’s request to allow him go to the United Kingdom for eight weeks of medical treatment.
Abang said his application lacked merit and that Dasuki was not a “compelable witness.”
Metuh is facing trial over alleged N400m money laundering charges.
At Wednesday’s proceedings, Metuh had asked the court to subpoena Dasuki saying his testimony was essential to his defence.
Counsel to Metuh, Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN) said that Dasuki’s testimony in the matter was very crucial.
According to him, Dasuki was an official person who exercises official position and his presence will enable him give evidence in respect to the document tendered by the prosecution.
He added that Dasuki was currently in custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) and it was impossible for the defence team to reach him.
Ikpeazu said that the defence was of the view that it was only the court that had the authority to compel his appearance in court.
On the application to release Metuh’s international passport to enable him seek treatment abroad, Ikpeazu told the court that his ailment was getting worse.
According to him, medical reports showed that he cannot be treated in Nigeria and he had been referred abroad to seek further treatment.
The counsel said that he was ready to put his practice licence on the line for the court to allow his client get the necessary treatment abroad and come back to face his trial in good health.
The prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, raised no objection to the application for Dasuki to be subpoenaed; saying it was an administrative matter that could have been handled in chambers.
He, however, opposed the application for the release of Metuh’s international passport and prayed the court to dismiss it and to rather maintain the order of an accelerated trial.
Tahir said that rather than grant the application, the court should sustain the tempo of a speedy trial so as to quickly give judgment.
Metuh, had called six witnesses in his defence, but said that Dasuki had to testify as well since the case against him was that he collected the money in question from Dasuki’s office.