The Peoples Democratic Party has accused the Presidency of “unwarranted and unjustified” intrusion and negative suggestions in the on-going trial of the party’s former National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.
The opposition party in a statement on Wednesday by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan, said a tweet by a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, confirmed that the interest of the presidency in the trial was beyond seeking justice.
Mr. Metuh, who is facing trial for alleged diversion of N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Sambo Dasuki, was on Monday taken to the Federal High Court in Abuja on a stretcher from an ambulance, leading to the court adjourning the matter till March 15.
The development elicited the concerns of some members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday who persuaded the House to adopt a motion seeking the intervention of the Attorney-General of the Federation in Mr. Metuh’s trial to enable him seek medical care abroad.
Apparently not convinced that Mr. Metuh’s health condition was dire, Ms. Onochie on her official twitter handle on Tuesday described the appearance of the accused person in the manner he did at the court as nothing but drama.
Her tweet read: “NOLLYWOOD drama Starring Olisa Metuh. Act 2 scene 1.[SPOT THE DIFFERENCE. PDP CONVENTION: Strong, hale & hearty and even throwing punches!”.
‘Days later …FRAUD TRIAL IN COURT: Weak, tired & bandaged to the neck on a stretcher & ambulance to complement the Nollywood drama.”
Reacting with umbrage to the tweet, the PDP alleged that the presidency had been intruding in Mr. Metuh’s trial since inception just to set up the former PDP spokesperson before the judiciary.
“It is repulsive that a Presidential aide has once again intruded directly, with malicious suggestions, in a matter that is on judicial trial, thus further exposing that Chief Metuh’s travails in the course of the trial, may have been politically hatched and orchestrated.
“It is instructive to state that Chief Metuh, whose spinal chord ailment has badly deteriorated, was brought to court in his current medical state, sequel to the order of the trial judge.
“It is public knowledge that Justice Abang on January 25, 2018 rejected medical reports from doctors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where Chief Metuh had been on admission and ordered him to appear in court on Monday, January 5, 2018 or have his bail revoked. In fact, the judge ruled that he would thenceforth not accept any other report issued by any medical doctor on the accused.
“It is therefore irresponsible, wicked and an unpardonable act of inhumanity, for the presidency or any of its agents to mock Chief Metuh for obeying the order of court, even in his current state of health,” the party stated.
Alleging a sinister design against Mr. Metuh, the PDP said it had information that government agents were harassing medical practitioners across the country not to offer any form of treatment or assistance to the accused.
The party said that viewing such alongside negative and hostile disposition towards medical reports on Mr. Metuh, any responsible person could safely conclude that there is a grand conspiracy to persecute the accused.
“While we are not opposed to the trial of any of our members for any matter whatsoever, we insist that the process must be fair, without external influences and in strict compliance with provisions of the law,” the party said.
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