24th March, 2016
The embattled National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, on Thursday, March 24, 2016 filed two separate applications, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, one of which is asking the judge to disqualify himself from further presiding over his trial.
The second application sought for adjournment to enable the Court of Appeal rule on his application for stay of proceedings in his trial.
At the last hearing, March 17, 2016, Metuh’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, through another counsel in the matter, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, wrote to the court asking for adjournment to enable him go for medical treatment.
Adedipe further gave an undertaking to the effect that, in the event the lead counsel failed to be in court, he would lead the defence.
Justice Abang thereafter adjourned the matter to March 23, 2016 for the defence to open their case.
However, the court could not sit on the said date and the case was subsequently adjourned to today.
At the resumed sitting, Metuh’s counsel, Ikpeazu, again sent another letter through Emeka Etiaba, SAN, asking for another adjournment to a later date.
Counsel to EFCC, Sylvester Tahir opposed the application saying, “this case has suffered several adjournments at the instance of the defence.”
“Looking at the records my Lord, you will see that the learned SAN, Emeka Etiaba, from the arraignment of the defendant, has been appearing in this case together with Ikpeazu and is capable of handling the matter in the absence of the lead counsel”, Tahir stated.
He urged the court to take judicial notice of the fact that the defence is employing all manners of tactics to unnecessarily frustrate the trial.
On Metuh’s application, Tahir told the court that he was just being served by the defence and would need time to respond appropriately to the issues raised in the application.
Thereafter, the matter was adjourned to April 8, 2016.
It would be recalled that, Metuh is standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of N400 million (four hundred million naira) from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) who is being tried for laundering $2.1 billion.