Why court struck out Jonathan’s N1 billion request from Metuh

NIGERIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

A former President, Goodluck Jonathan, may have to repeat his request to be given N1 billion before appearing as a witness in the trial of former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisah Metuh.

This is because the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, venue of Mr. Metuh’s trial, struck out an application by Mr. Jonathan for the said fund, meant to serve as travel and logistic allowances, to be given to him (Mr. Jonathan).

The presiding judge, Okon Abang, agreed with the submission of the defence counsel that Mr. Jonathan was wrong to have relied solely on information provided by the media as the basis for his application.

Mr. Jonathan was ordered to appear as Mr. Metuh’s defence witness, following the issuance of a subpoena by the court on October 23.

The counsel to Mr. Jonathan, Mike Ozekhome, however asked the court to set aside the order for the issuance of the subpoena, on the grounds that the directive will amount to what he called an invasion of Mr. Jonathan’s right to privacy.

Mr. Ozekhome also submitted that the subpoena, whose details were obtained through the media, alongside other court proceedings, was vague in its nature.

Responding to the submissions of Mr. Ozekhome, Mr. Metuh’s lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, asked the court to refuse the application on the grounds that it was not ripe for hearing.

“My lord, the application is not only speculative, but premature and deserves to be struck out,” Mr. Etiaba said.

Mr. Etiaba added that the argument of Mr. Ozekhome that his client’s privacy would by abused, can only be decided when the former president appears in court.

Although the prosecution, counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, did not object to the application, Mr. Abang refused the motion, citing none service of the subpoena by court officials.

Mr. Abang said his court lacks jurisdiction to make enforceable orders regarding compliance to a subpoena yet to be issued by his court.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the court was yet to serve the subpoena on Mr. Jonathan, with a clerk saying he was told Mr. Jonathan was out of the country when he went to the former president’s house.

“Service of the subpoena on him goes to the root of the matter; failure of which will nullify the outcome of proceedings,” the judge said on Wednesday.

“Dr. Jonathan, with the greatest respect to him, cannot rely on a news item from the media to conclude that the invitation is vague. I am inclined to dismiss this application, because it has been heard on its merits, but I will strike it out,” Mr. Abang said.

Earlier, the court also refused an application by Mr. Dasuki that he be allowed to testify only after he is released from the custody of the State Security Service, SSS.

Reacting to the references made to various rulings from appellate courts by Mr. Dasuki’s awyer, Ahmed Raji, Mr. Abang said his court is bound to also access the facts of the current matter before it.

“My lords; I am bound by the decision of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in this matter. However where the matter before the court are not similar to the issues that arose in the appellate court, I think I have a duty to discern the course of law in this matter.

“I must say that if the matter before the court is a civil matter, I would not have wasted time to entertain this arguments. The application is an application filed in a criminal proceedings,” said Mr. Abang.

The judge further ruled that it is a matter of semantics that Mr. Raji decided to describe his request as an ‘application for suspension of the subpoena’, rather than an application for stay of proceedings.

“Suspension of the order amounts to a stay of proceedings,” the judge said.

Mr. Dasuki was then ordered into the witness box to testify for Mr. Metuh on Wednesday.

At the witness box, however, Mr. Dasuki would later say he could not recollect details of his dealings with Mr. Metuh unless he was released by the State Security Service, in whose custody he has been for about two years, to go review his records.

The matter was adjourned till Friday for rulings on applications made on Wednesday.

Before delivering his ruling, Mr. Abang again sounded a warning to journalists, to desist from interpreting his ruling.

The judge threatened to institute an action against any journalist found misinterpreting his proceedings.


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  • Fadama

    Even if GEJ’s life depends on him appearing as the defence witness,he will not show up there.

  • Okon Abang must recuse himself from this case immediately. Abang has no integrity to deliberate on this case without prejudice. For a fair trial, this case must be assigned to another competent Judge.

    • utolason

      Rubbish! What are you on?

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    This world is wonderful. There are a lot of lessons to learn, but our minds are blocked. Today, see how GEJ is disowning and abandoning Olisah Metuh. Where will Metuh gate N1billion to pay for Jonathan’s travel and hotel expenses, before he (Jonathan) testify as Metuh’s witness? Mr. Fortunato is lucky, this is not America or Western Europe, where they don’t care wether you are former president or a common pauper, you must answer court summons. But come to think of it, what did GEJ said was his reason not answer the court summons? He was fearing that, he might implicate himself. The dude was even implying that the government was trying to rope him in, as they are doing to his wife. The man is scared dead.

    • Julius

      Lmaoooooooooo, the due is a moron !

    • newday

      According to judge Abang, the court never served any subpoena on Jona. It was only info from newspapers. Nonetheless,this judge should withdraw his threat to journalists & freedom of the press to report any news & go read the constitution…

  • Mrs. Cathy Ochonogu

    Premium Times Editor,

    National honours for an exceptional Nigerian

    I want to say something please. I am not here
    to bury Mrs. Oyo-Ita the Head of public Service in Nigeria, but to praise her.
    She is a wonderful person. She stood her ground and refused to bow
    to evil. She refused to sign the reinstatement of that fugitive from justice
    called Maina. She made sure nobody in the Head of Service signed it either. She
    stood for what is right and brought joy to my heart. She is the sort of woman
    Nigeria deserves. She should be given a highest national honour for refusing to
    follow the corrupt legal advice issued by the federal attorney general Abubakar
    Malami. She is in a class of her own as a true patriot of a country destroyed
    by Muhamadu Buhari’s tribalistic corruption. The same President Buhari was told
    face to face by Mrs. Oyo-Ita on the 12th October that Mr. Maina was
    being reinstated and promoted as a Director contrary to law, but President
    Buhari did nothing since 12th of October. Thereby President Buhari
    became a criminal accomplice of some sort in the illegal reinstatement of .
    Mr. Maina.

    • 360°

      President Buhari
      is under a strict duty to know the illegality occurring inside his own
      government, regardless if Mrs. Oyo-Ita reported any illegality verbally or not.
      President Buhari’s duty to know, in law, does not depend on Mrs. Oyo-Ita’s report;
      as if it is the prescribed one or the exclusive way for President Buhari to acquire
      information of ongoing illegality inside his increasingly ramshackle government.

  • chinedu

    Interesting times ahead. What is going on in this court will definitely enhance our jurisprudence. Something a lot of lawyers will learn from. But in all this,justice will be delayed because these senior advocates will involve all known legal technicalities. Sadly for the average Nigerian,the money allegedly stolen continues to hang somewhere.

    • Julius

      True !

      • Bittervola

        @Chinedu:@

        I want everybody in Nigeria and in the world at large to hear me.
        Premium Times is supporting President Buhari to change the
        topic from the big corruption of MAINA reinstatement to
        another thing so that we will forget that Buhari is a very
        corrupt president of Nigeria. This thing I am saying is
        to ask international community to help the masses in
        Nigeria and save us from the worst government we
        have ever had. The international community must
        not say afterall we were the ones who voted for
        Buhari with our own hands. Nobody is above
        mistake. We have sinned and fallen short of
        the glory of God in Nigeria by voting Buhari.
        We are now asking U.N for duty to protect.

        • Augustine 2000

          PREMIUM TIMES IS NOT SUPPORTING ANYBODY;
          PREMIUM TIMES IS DOING PROFESSIONAL NEWS
          WITHOUT ANY PREJUDICE OR FAVOUR TO ANYONE.

          • Strait Point

            @Julius11:disqus

            Muhamadu Buhari is the worst president Nigeria has ever had;
            the least educated, the most dishonest, the most crooked, the worst mentally lazy,
            the most bereft, the most denuded of thought-process, and, the most inarticulate,
            stammering Islamist bigot ever to enter the presidential villa, flying the Fulani tribe flag.

        • kinsly

          Shut UP! Fake pastor. Crook! So you know who has fallen short of the Glory of God? Criminals always quick to include God in there evil argument.

        • Julius

          smh@We are now asking U.N for duty to protect. Really ? Are you dumb or being silly ?. I guess the United States citizens should also be asking the U N for duty to protect them from Trump since most of them do not like him being their president.

          • O. Omifunke Ifasade

            Not true; Trump supporters want him to be the president. If not, he would not have won the presidency.

          • Julius

            Buhari supporters also want him to be the president…right ? By the way, Trump did not win the popular vote as a matter of fact, he lost to Hillary by more than 3 million votes but,he became the president by the electoral college vote. Google that !

          • O. Omifunke Ifasade

            In the USA, the criteria for winning a Presidential and/or Government election is the Electoral College Votes, not Popular Votes. In 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump won the Electoral Vote, overwhelmingly. A constitutional amendment is needed to change the criteria.

          • Julius

            What the hell do you mean by the criteria for winning a Presidential or/Government election is the Electoral College votes ????? smdh ! You need to stay in your lane because you have no clue as to what you are talking about. Good day sir !

      • Aluta2000

        @mbubaEnekwa:disqus

        Let’s discuss the real issues. Nigeria is dying, Nigeria is falling into pieces. What we have as president
        of Nigeria today does not have what it takes to provide purpose, remedy or direction. Let us discuss
        the way out now. Let us discuss impeachment. It’s better to save Nigeria from shattering fall than to
        preserve this Buhari status quo of fraud, lies and stealing in the name of CHANGE.

        Nigeria is dying. Over 28 million youths are un-employed, according to the National Bureau of statistics.

        That figure of unemployment in Nigeria is today is more than half of the whole population of Nigeria at Independence on October 1st, 1960; and, more than the entire population of all living human beings
        inside the neighbouring country of Ghana. This is a ticking bomb, let us rise to save Nigeria right now!

    • Oga

      this is a sad testament to the state of jurisprudence in Nigeria when you have SANs resorting to infantile hyper-technical argument to derail the progress of a trial. This is nonsense. Matters should be tried on their merit instead of this theatrical mess that would be laughable even if it were presented in a Bollywood movie.

  • dami

    Dasuki’s arguement is invalid as he is no longer the NSA so which records does he want to go and review? Will he be given access to the NSA’s offices to refresh his memory? The answer is no, and if he has official documents in his possession up till now then that will be another criminal case.

  • Powerlessconscious

    This is because the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, venue of Mr. Metuh’s trial, struck out an application by Mr. Jonathan for the said fund, meant to serve as travel and logistic allowances, to be given to him (Mr. Jonathan).

    Thief.

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  • thusspokez

    A lot of things about Nigeria do not make sense to me; and this is one such case: (1) Metuh, instead of falling on his sword — as is expected of subordinates of former heads of states –, chose to embroil his former boss in his case. (2) Metuh’s boss, GEJ on being served a subpoena, demands consideration to the tune of N1bn. Chineke! I didn’t know that subpoena can be this profitable in Nigeria.

    The N1bn is clearly court attendance fee, but is this for the entire appearances in this case or just for one subpoena meaning that Metuh will pay another N1bn If he wanted another subpoena? But as a former head of state, the Nigeria government pays for all GEJ’s expenses and security. So, should GEJ be charging fee for court appearance?

    • MilitaryPolice01 [Joint Chief]

      (1) Metuh, instead of falling on his sword — as is expected of subordinates of former heads of states –, chose to embroil his former boss in his case.
      ————–
      Where is it expressly written as a norm in Nigeria that a subordinate as you put it is expected to fall on the sword for his or her former Head of State ? Where is this narrative coming from for goodness sake

      • thusspokez

        Where is it expressly written as a norm in Nigeria that a subordinate…

        Like you want me to tell you the section/subsection in the Nigerian constitution where this is written or perhaps the verses in the Bible or Koran? Chineke!

        Sometimes, I wish the constitution had stated what time is ‘dinner time’ for the avoidance of argument between couples. BTW I am waiting for my dinner which would be any minute from now.

        Now I would have red wine with my meals, whether it is fish, chicken or meat dish, others say, yada yada yada, red wine for meat and cheese; white wine for fish and chicken dishes. I do my own thing anyway, but often wish the constitution would provide some hint as to which wine to have with what meals. Anyway, let me don’t bore you any further-o as dinner is ready-o, hehehehe!

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is a certified looter-in-chief whose passion is stealing is not corruption slogan and supervised massive stealing,looting and embezzlement, of our national commonwealth and asset. If the anti-corruption law is truly working former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, should be cooling his feet in the Federal penitentiary along with his wife,Dame Patinece Jonathan and his finance minister/coordinator of economy,Dr Ngozi Okonjop Iweala, as his oil minister,Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke, is currently under house arrest in London,UK facing National Crime Agency”s prosecution for bribery and money-laundering in UK.
    Can any sane Nigerrian, imagibne a criminal asking for N1b Naira, before he can appear before a court of law to explain his corrupt-acts while in office as Nigeria-president for six years?If Nigeria, is as civilize and transparent like South-Korea or China, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,his wife Dame Patience Jonathan and his finance minister,Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, all should be in the penitentiary.

    • Fernando Luis

      bro you are a coward, you know who the looters are, you dare not mention your demin god buhair, obasanjo, atiku, babangida and others. but anyway, you will forever be calling jonathan, if you are waiting for him to contest again, you are wasting your time. so let them keep on brainwashing your stinking brain with lies and propaganda why they use GEJ, to cover up and sugar your heart. bastard

    • Es3

      This native Doctor Pat?? Does he ever have other lines than this worn out ones???

      What is his Buhari presiding on that is beginning to unravel on him???

      Or that this native Doctor is still yet to see anything on that side???

    • Jon

      See the records of your President who did not meet the prerequisite for the office he is currently occupying.

      Check the records: $2.1 billion stolen or missing when he was Petroleum minister in 1977. $1.1 billion stolen or missing when he was chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund in 1997. Now, under his watch, $26 billion stolen or missing under the guise of contract award. Are these not a pattern of bad behavior that should have been punished in Western Civilized Societies? Look again the pattern of ethnic cleansing under his brutal and tyrannical regime.

    • newday

      That is If u were a king in ur Monarchy. Thank God 9ja is not only a democracy, but also a republic, where people are presumed innocent until proven guilty..

    • deri best

      Yr grand father Buhari refused to appear before late justice Oputa panel to answer questions on his theft of my 2.8b from NNPC… and PTF where he stole billions ..Only recently he was alleged to have stolen another 25b..from NNPC again….Mumu Ibo man using Yoruba name to post comments monkey

  • Olatubosun

    Jonathan will be needed in the court

  • Sincere-Voice

    The clueless one is a thief and his recruit Methu is not only a thief but a paper eating thief!

  • deri best

    What happened when Buhari refused to appear before late justice Oputa panel to answer questions on his theft of my 2.8b from NNPC… and PTF where he stole billions ..Only recently he was alleged to have stolen another 25b..from NNPC again….Mumu Ibo man using Yoruba name to post comments monkey

  • Dipo

    Nigerian youths it is time for us to act, we know the president is failing but that is not the solution. I believe we must begin to have the names in public of those we think can make this nation better if voted in because if we want the people to vote out the incumbent then there must be better alternatives for the people