The trial of embattled National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, slated for continuation today, January 22, 2018 was stalled as he was not in court on account ill-health, according to his lawyer.
Metuh is standing trial alongside his company, Destra Investment Limited, on a 7-count charge of fraud to the tune of N400 million preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
When the case was called, Sylvanus Tahir, counsel to the EFCC, told the court that the case was for continuation of defence saying, “We are ready to proceed my Lord, but I observe that the defendants are not in court”.
Metuh’s counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, SAN, however, responded by telling the court that his client had a relapse in his health situation.
“Metuh is currently at the Nnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, following a relapse in his health situation. We received a letter to that effect which was also filed in court”, he said
While craving the court’s indulgence for adjournment, Ikpeazu said, “I did not anticipate this. I must say honestly that I am in a very unusual position. This, being an issue of health we are applying for an adjournment at least till tomorrow so that we can have a clearer situation from the chief consultant as to when the defendant can be in court”.
Tochukwu Onwubufor, SAN, representing the second defendant aligned himself with the submission of Ikpeazu, stressing that health related issues are beyond human control.
He further urged the court to “use its discretion and human sympathy to grant the application”.
Tahir, in response told the court that “the prosecution was given a copy of the letter that emanated from Nnamdi Azikwe Teaching Hospital concerning the ill health of the 1st defendant just before your Lordship came into the open court”.
He however said, “If the request is to adjourn till tomorrow, we reluctantly concede”.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned to January 23, 2018 for continuation of defence.