Metuh’s corruption trial: Court gives officials five days to serve subpoena on Jonathan

Jonathan and Dasuki
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Former NSA, Sambo Dasuki. [Photo credit: Nigerian Times]

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered its bailiff to ensure the service of its subpoena on former President Goodluck Jonathan within five days from Wednesday.

The subpoena is to make Mr. Jonathan appear as a defence witness in the ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson, Olisah Metuh.

Mr. Metuh is facing trial for alleged diversion of N400 million from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The defendant had also obtained a subpoena for the appearance of Mr. Dasuki in court as his witness.

On Wednesday, the court registrar confirmed the service of the subpoena on Mr. Dasuki but said Mr. Jonathan was yet to be served, after a first attempt to serve him (Jonathan) by the bailiff.

Consequently, Justice Okon Abang gave the court official five days to serve Mr. Jonathan with the subpoena.

He added that in the event that the bailiff was unable to serve the former President with the subpoena in person, Mr. Metuh, for whom the subpoena was approved, will have to apply to the court to allow the bailiff serve Mr. Jonathan through substituted means.

“The bailiff is hereby given five days from today to serve the former President, after which the law will take its course. If it is impossible, the use of substituted means is allowed.

“For that, the bailiff is an agent of the first defendant. If the bailiff is unable to serve the former President, the first defendant should make the application for the bailiff. The bailiff cannot apply to court because he is not a party,” the judge said.

The court also ordered the prosecution to ensure that its client, (the federal government) compels the State Security Service to produce Mr. Dasuki in court or risk administrative action by the court, in compliance with the orders of the Appeal Court.

Following an order made by the Appeal Court on September 29, the lower court on Monday signed a subpoena for Mr. Metuh, represented by Onyeachi Ikpeazu, to ensure that Mr. Dasuki is produced in court as a witness for Mr. Metuh.

That same day, Mr. Dasuki’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji, asked the court to set aside the issuance of the subpoena until his client is released from detention.

Mr. Raji also told journalists that if his request is refused, he would approach the Court of Appeal because according to him, the order for the compulsory appearance of his client is a violation of Mr. Dasuki’s right.

The court on Wednesday dismissed Mr. Raji’s application. Mr. Abang said the subpoena had already been issued and that the decision to comply with Mr. Metuh’s request was based on an order of a higher court.

Mr. Abang further said section 124 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which deals with the issuance of court service, was problematic and called on federal lawmakers to consider amending it.

“There is a problem with section 124. I hope that the lawmakers will take steps to amend section 124 of the ACJA,” Mr. Abang said.

Before delivering his ruling, Mr. Abang warned journalists in court against misinterpreting proceedings.

Citing the headline of one of Nigeria’s dailies which suggested Mr. Abang insisted Mr. Jonathan and the former NSA must appear in Mr Metuh’s case, the judge said, “It is on record that it is the first defendant that applied to have Dasuki and Jonathan in court.

“Apart from the fact that journalists are advised to have a human face, it is contemptuous to misinterpret court proceedings. Any media organisation that misleads court proceedings will have itself to blame.

“As regards the absence of Dasuki, this will be addressed administratively. There is no reason for the absence of Dasuki in court. The learned counsel for government must convince its client to produce Dasuki in court. Failure of which it will be difficult for the matter to continue,” Mr. Abang said.

He adjourned the case to October 31, at the instance of the defence.


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  • niran ade

    Look at the headline picture then try and imagine how much was stolen by the bunch of predators we have as leaders.

    • C. Elderman

      @niranade:disqus

      Nigeria sinks underwater in billions of theft

      It is not enough to report one crime
      or theft each day in Nigeria. It’s more important to assure that each crime or
      theft is then brought to justice. We’d lately read that Alhaji Maina took 22 million
      from the Ministry of Interior’s accounts office (as back pay) before he fled again
      as fugitive from justice.

      Whist Alhaji Maina remains at large his co-conspirators are still seated
      pompously inside their offices as government officials. This is outrageous.
      Conspirators in a crime are to be arrested and detained for arraignment,
      regardless that a principal criminal, like Alhaji Maina, is at large.

      It is quite
      obvious that President Buhari does not know how to fight corruption, being
      ignorant of criminal law and the substance and procedure of the law, besides
      lacking in honesty of purpose. Nigeria’s fake war against corruption has never
      looked more ridiculous under the bumbling President Buhari.

  • Mizch

    This trial seems to be over orchestrated. Corruption is corruption. Why does the government not give same attention to the big looters who hide in the ruling party? A real animal kingdom!

    • kinsly

      When another Party comes into Government let them take action but for now, we catch who we can catch. Nigerians needs to stop messing about, all criminals no matter which ethnic group, religion or party they belong should face justice, no matter which way the justice comes to them.

      • Jajamajaja

        Would have agreed with you if what is good for the geese is also good for the gander…my brother, times have changed , to your tents oh Isreal.

      • Mizch

        Poor answer to the question posed.

  • T-Rex

    So this Okon Abang is back to Abuja? Thought he was transferred to Asaba!

  • Daniel

    The beginning of the end of crude oil exploration.

    Avengers will be a child ‘s play.

    I hope Buhari understands that the times.

    • FreeNigeria

      Might be a good thing at last, the common man is not benefiting from the crude oil sales. So let them blast it all to hell

    • kinsly

      Just shut up. Are they jailing ‘JONA the thief’? He is to appear as a witness.

    • MilitaryPolice01

      Lets be careful, he is not being invited to be thrown into jail, he is only coming as a witness to help out his boys who is currently languishing because of him. Lets not forget that it was Metuh who is frustrated with Jonathan that applied for him to be called as witness.

  • realist

    Is Jonathan the only former president, why this persecution? Is it because he not among the old brigade? Who among them is a saint.

    • MilitaryPolice01

      Bro, Metuh is suffering because of Jonathan. Jonathan should go to court and say yes I directed NSA Dasuki to disburse funds to Metuh as Publicity Chair and no that was not Boko Haram 2.1 bn money, it was campaign funds raised by party – simple.

      Let me say boldly without fear of contradiction that Metuh cannot be convicted because he knows nothing about the source of the funds, he was given a job to do and given funds to do it. Since when does a contractor ask his client the source of his money. It is simple as. They know this, that is why they threw the case to Okon Abang, a sworn enemy of Metuh since theire days in law school.

    • Sam

      Metuh asked for him to appear, not the court. Did you read the story?