Nigeria

Court adjourns Olisa Metuh’s trial after he arrived in ambulance

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday agreed to adjourn the trial of former Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, on health grounds.

The court presided over by Justice Okon Abang granted the adjournment after seeing Mr. Metuh arrive the court on a stretcher on Monday.

He is being charged with corruption for collecting N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Sambo Dasuki.

Mr. Metuh’s lawyers led by a senior Advocate of Nigeria, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, had made the application for adjournment during a previous hearing in January.

Mr. Ikpeazu presented a medical report from a doctor at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Specialist Hospital to support his application.

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Reacting to the application, however, the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, asked the court to revoke the bail granted Mr. Metuh, stressing that the court should consider Mr. Metuh’s absence as an attempt to jump his bail.

In his ruling, Mr. Abang had expressed doubts that the medical report was sufficient to allow the application of the defendant.

“This is not a post office. Anybody can sit in his house and write this,” Mr. Abang said.

The judge said there was no evidence to prove that the medical report was authentic or that the medical doctor who signed the report actually existed.

Mr. Abang then threatened to revoke the defendant’s bail if he did not present himself in court on Monday.

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After seeing Mr. Metuh in court on Monday, however, Mr Abang adjourned the matter, saying it was imperative that the court conducts itself in a humane manner.

“The court must be firm in its decisions. It must also be seen to be fair to all parties. It is important for the court to also be humane.

“I have seen the condition that the first defendant is. Seeing the condition, I am inclined to adjourn this matter to allow the first defendant attend his trial”.

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