Court Grants EFCC’s Application to Continue Metuh’s Trial in Absentia, Summons Channels TV GM over Allegation of Prejudicial Statements
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja has ordered that the trial of Olisa Metuh, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would henceforth continue in his absence.
The judge gave the order on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, while ruling on an application by Silvanus Tahir, counsel to the EFCC, urging the court to continue with the trial in the absence of the embattled erstwhile spokesperson who collapsed in court on Monday while making his way to the dock.
Tahir, in his application, argued that Metuh had acted in defiance to the judge’s order to remain where he was seated while the proceedings went on.
He also argued that the defendant had in the past employed all manners of delay tactics to frustrate his trial.
On the other hand, Metuh’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, wanted a long adjournment to enable his client to recover to continue his trial adding that “prosecution is only for the living”.
In his ruling, Justice Abang held that ” The application by the prosecution deserves to succeed”.
Relying on Section 266 (a) and Section 352(4) of the ACJA, 2015 Justice Abang said the court was disposed to proceed with the trial in Metuh’s absence, considering his previous attempts to scuttle and frustrate the trial.
The judge noted that Metuh deliberately ignored his lawful directive instructing him to remain seated and not to go into the dock. He said the defendant chose to go to the dock and fell down in the process and was screaming to give the impression that he was in pain.
The court also granted an application by the prosecution to summon the General Manager of Channels Television, Abuja and a presenter with the station, Maupe Ogun- Yusuf to appear before the court in respect of what he called “prejudicial statements” made by a lawyer, Ben Chuks Nwosu on Tuesday edition of ‘Sunrise Daily” aired on the station.
The judge in granting the application ordered the duo to appear on May 25.