The former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, Tuesday asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to step down the subpoena which ordered him to stand as defence witness for ex-spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh.
Metuh is standing trial over the N400m he allegedly collected fraudulently from the office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.
Dasuki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji, anchored this request on the ground that he had filed appeal against the subpoena at the Court of Appeal on behalf of Dasuki.
In a bench ruling, the the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang, said that the subpoena order still stands, pending when arguments are taken on the matter.
The court however stepped down on the subpoena issued against formerly President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on the ground that he (Jonathan) had not been served with the subpoena personally as required by the law.
Justice Abang, who had ordered the production of Dasuki in court on Tuesday, however said that the ex-NSA may not be compelled to testify in the trial until his motion, praying for adjournment is fully determined by the court.
Dasuki had filed a motion challenging the decision of the court which last week turned down his request to set aside the subpoena issued against him by the court.
In the fresh appeal, Dasuki is praying the court to adjourn the execution of the subpoena until further notice, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal he filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
In the fresh motion brought pursuant to order 5 Rule 10 and 11, Dasuki, through his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji ( SAN) told Justice Abang that, having lodged an appeal at the appeallate court, it is incumbent on the lower court to allow the appwallte court to determine the matter before executing the subpoena against him.
He claimed that he had already compiled the record of proceedings and transmitted same to the Appeal Court and that his appeal had been entered and issued with a number as required by law.
Beside, the ex-NSA claimed that a letter had been written to the presiding justice of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal for an earlier date and for an accelerated hearing of te appeal, adding that it is in the best interests of justice for the high court to adjourn the execution of the subpoena against him.
On the allegation raised by the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir that Dasuki had vowed not appear in court, he told the the court to expunge the remarks of the prosecution from the court record on the ground that, it was a hearsay evidence.
Reading from a SMS sent by the legal adviser to DG of DSS, Tahir said the DSS was willing to bring him to court but Dasuki has bluntly refused.
The SMS from legal Adviser, which he read in the open court said: “Subject is adamant and bluntly refused to come except by force. After much persuasion he agreed to come on the next adjourned date.”
But Raji told Justice Abang that apart from the fact that the prosecution was quoting another source on the evidence, “the evidence itself is incriminating, damaging and not admissible under the Evidence Act”.
The counsel pleaded with the Judge to hessiate in issuing bench warrant against the DG of DSS on subpoena to Dasuki on the ground that Dasuki had placed necessary document before the Judge to ascertain that he (Dasuki) is already before the Court of Appeal to challenge the competence of the subpoena.
Dasuki’s motion seeking the adjournment is expected to be heard Wednesday .
Although, former President Jonathan was not present in court, his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome ( SAN), urged the court to wholly set aside the issuance or service of subpoena against the former President.
The court had, on October 23, at the instance of Metuh issued a subpoena to compel Jonathan to appear in court for the purpose of giving evidence in his trial on an alleged corruption.
But, Ozekhome, apart from praying for the setting aside of the subpoena, also asked the court to order Metuh alternatively to deposit in custody of the court a sum of N1bn in line with the provision of Section 241 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ( ACJA), 2015 for him to appear in court.
Jonathan, in a motion filed on his behalf by Ozekhome explained that the N1bn is for his travelling expences and those of his security personnel drom Utuoke in Bayelsa to Abuja and also for logistics and tight provision of security through out the period of his stay in Abuja
He urged the court to void the subpoena issued against him.
However, the subpoena against the former President was stepped downby the court following evidence from the court registrar that Jonathan had not been served with the document personally as required by the law.
The court registrar who read out in the open court an affidavit of non service explained that the house of the former President in Abuja was contacted by the bailiff of the court and that the bailiff was told that Jonathan had travelled out of the country and is being expected back in the country anytime in November.
The court consequently adjourned to November 31, to hear applications from both Jonathan and Dasuki’s counsel