Olisa Metuh to appeal court's refusal to adjourn fraud case

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"Therefore, in the overall interest of justice, and I hope that the first defendant will take advantage of this, though the court can not compel him to give evidence in the matter, give the bailiff time to make an attempt to serve the subpoenaed witness by personal service and this will be for the last time".

Based on that submission, the defence counsel, led by Emeka Etiaba, asked the court to suspend the trial to allow for the expected service of the subpoena on December 11.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged in some of the seven counts preferred against Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, that the ex-PDP spokesperson fraudulently received the sum of N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser without any justification and spent the funds on the party and personal affairs.

He informed the court that Jonathan's testimony in the matter is very important as, according to him, will determine whether Metuh will testify in the matter or not.

Following an application by Metuh, the judge had since October 3, 2017 signed the subpoena summoning Jonathan to appear as a defence witness in the case.

Metuh had requested for records of proceedings of the court for November 4 and November 5 when his applications for adjournment were made.

Although the court presided by the judge, Okon Abang, initially refused the application to subpoena Mr. Dasuki, it later consented to the request, after an Abuja division of the Appeal Court overruled Mr. Abang.

Tahir argued that although the court had asked the bailiff to intensify effort to serve the subpoena on Jonathan, it should not be the ground for adjournment.

Subsequently, Mr. Tahir urged the court to set aside the writ of summons and compel the defence to either produce their next witness or close their case.

In his ruling, Mr. Abang said the defence team had over 30 days, during which they would have organized their next witness.

Reiterating the previous decision of the court that it had powers to set aside its subpoena, Mr. Abang said an earlier ruling by the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court does not prevent his court from setting aside the subpoena.

Mr. Abang however denied asking Mr. Metuh to appear in court, saying he only noted that the defendant was at liberty to appear if he deemed it necessary.

"Contrary to the submission of the first defendant that the court has no power to set aside its writ of summons, the court has the power to set it aside, if the defendant fails timeously to effect service of the proposed witness with the sermons personally or by substituted means".

"Having regards to the issues raised above, this matter will be adjourned, then the question is, when will this case be adjourned to?"