The absence of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh due to ill-health on Monday stalled his trial before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
At the resumed trial on Monday, lead counsel to the former PDP spokesman, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) drew the court’s attention to a letter from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi in Anambra State, concerning Metuh’s ill-health and that he is on admission at the hospital.
Ikpeazu then urged the court for an adjournment till Tuesday for Metuh to be present in court for his trial.
The prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, who did not oppose the request for an adjournment in the matter, reminded the court of the judgment of the Supreme Court, in an interlocutory appeal by Metuh, which directed that the matter is heard expeditiously.
Recalled that Metuh had failed in all his attempts to stop his trial, as the apex court had asked him to face his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja, in the N400 million fraud charge filed against him by the Federal Government.
The former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Mohammed Dasuki (rtd) had while testifying for Metuh, said he could not remember any of his transaction with him.
He told the court that he was incapacitated in giving accurate and correct evidence in respect of the N400 million transaction because he had been kept in custody of the DSS for over two years.
Besides, he claimed that the alleged transaction took place three years and that he needed to consult with his record to enable him to give correct evidence in the trial.
It was after Dasuki’s testimony that the former PDP spokesman prayed the court to subpoena former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify for him.
The court granted the request and issued a subpoena notice on Jonathan since last year, but the former President is yet to appear in court to testify for Metuh, as he was yet to be served personally with the notice.
The registrar of the court informed the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang that the court bailiff, Abah Peter had sworn to an affidavit of non-service of the subpoena notice on former President Jonathan.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited are being prosecuted by the Federal Government for allegedly receiving the sum of N400 million from the former NSA and used same for political activities of the PDP in the 2015 general elections.
Tahir had, earlier in his submission, told the court that personal service is not the only way through which summons can be served on a witness.
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.
The trial is to be continued on Tuesday.
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