Metuh Must Appear In Court Or Go Back To Jail- Judge

Metuh Must Appear In Court Or Go Back To Jail- Judge

Mr. Olisah Metuh, former PDP's spokesman has been ordered to appear at the Federal High Court, Abuja for his trial on February 5 or risk arrest.

The court said it was not inclined to try Metuh in absentia because Section 266 of ACJA provides that a defendant in a criminal matter must attend the trial.

Speaking further, Justice Abang said that Metuh having abused his right, that the court will no longer entertain any medical report from any doctor in Nigeria on his behalf.

He said the letter was strategically aimed at delaying the trial, adding it was designed as a subtle way of staying proceeding in the ongoing trial.

He also recalled that the Supreme Court, in its judgment in an appeal by Metuh's firm and co-defendant, Destra Investments Limited, on January 12, 2018, ordered the Federal Court to give the case an accelerated hearing.

The application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was against the backdrop of a medical report by Dr. O.C Ekweogu of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, indicating that Metuh is sick and on admission.

The anti-graft agency, not satisfied with that claim, had on Tuesday prayed the court to annul the bail it granted Metuh and send him back to prison.

"Where the situation remains the same at the next adjourned date, this court shall exercise its power of revoking the bail. The outcome of his response when he appears in court shall determine whether or not to put him in prison", the court held.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, ruled that Metuh had been absent from his trial since Monday without any lawful excuse, a development which the judge said was a sufficient reason to revoke the defendant's bail.

"In view of the passionate plea of the defendant's counsel who I have respect for, I hereby suspend my decision to revoke bail, but I ask that the defendant turns a new leaf".

Reacting to the medical report, the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir argued that the report brought before the court by Mr. Metuh was not filed through the accepted procedures and as such should not be considered.

He agreed with Tahir that the hospital's letter dated January 21, 2018 was sent to the court to frustrate the trial.

"This matter is adjourned till February 5 and 6 for continuation of trial".

Mr. Metuh is facing trial on a seven-count for alleged diversion of N400 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.



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