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Ill-health: Metuh’s Aide Faults Judge’s Statement


Ishaya Maji, an aide to the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary,Chief Olisa Metuh, has faulted the claims of Justice Okon Abang, on Metuh’s ill-health describing it as unfortunate.
Justice Abang is the trial Judge in the N400m fraud allegation against the ex-PDP spokesperson by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a statement issued in Abuja Sunday, Maji drew the attention of Nigerians and the general society to the deteriorating health of his principal, pointing out that medical practitioners had earlier recommended urgent attention to address his challenges.
Maji said Metuh could not have claimed to be ill adding that the ailment that troubles him today dates back to about fourteen year ago. “How can Chief Metuh be accused of feigning an illness he has been managing at the National Hospital, Abuja for the past 14 years? How can he be accused of disobeying an order of court when the Judge’s directive to the registrar to inform him to sit down came only when he saw him struggling with the walker to negotiate into the dock?
“How can he be accused of deliberately staging the fall when he knows the severe consequences of such to his health? How can he be accused of turning the court into an accident scene because medical doctors from the court were attending to him?
“What is the basis and evidence for the hurtful comments by the learned trial Judge? The choice of words used by Justice Abang on Chief Metuh over his illness is saddening and truly worrisome. Will he get true justice in the light of all these?,” he asked.
Maji also noted that: “in the last 29 months, Metuh has faced unprecedented personal travails resulting in severe health, reputation, career, legal and financial setbacks.”
He also questioned the manner of the trial saying “The exposé by Mr. Johnson Ojogbani, Special Assistant to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, on Channels TV programme on Tuesday 22nd May, explained the reasons behind the desperation, misinformation and draconian tactics happening in his matter. It is our information that the media budget for this case by the EFCC is unprecedented.”
On the allegation that his boss jumped bail, the statement noted that “it is not true that Chief Metuh jumped bail. It is also not true that he did not provide any reasonable explanation for his absence in court.
“It is equally untrue that his counsel, Emeka Etiaba, SAN did not provide any reasonable explanation for his absence.
“The truth of the matter is that the very next day after Chief Metuh’s fall, his counsel, Emeka Etiaba SAN duly informed the court in open session that the medical team of the Federal High Court had taken him to the National Hospital for admission. It is pertinent to note that the court permitted the medical team to take him to hospital.
“The explanation of Metuh’s whereabouts was further reinforced by a letter from the National Hospital duly annexed as exhibit in an affidavit of facts by his brother and duly filed before the court ruling on Wednesday morning.
“On the issue of absence of counsel on Friday, his counsel Emeka Etiaba SAN, had duly filed and registered an affidavit of facts on 23rd May informing the court that he was bereaved and would not be in court on Friday, 25th May 2015 as he was billed to travelling to Nnewi, Anambra state. This affidavit was also served on the prosecutor in the matter.”
The statement further noted: “Chief Metuh had filed a motion for Justice Abang to recuse himself from the trial on account of the frosty relationship they had right from their call to bar in 1988 to their last encounter at the Le Meridian Hotel, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state.
“However the Judge blatantly denied knowing him, a lie unbecoming of a judicial officer, whilst he ruled against his motion even when he had cited evidence of dates and places.”

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