The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court will on Thursday rule on an application for the appearance of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, in the trial of embattled former publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.
Mr. Metuh is facing trial for alleged diversion of N400 million meant for the purchase of arms from the office of the former NSA.
Mr. Metuh, whose trial has since reached the defence stage, had submitted an application for the court to order the appearance of Mr. Dasuki, who is being detained by the State Security Service.
The counsel to Mr. Metuh, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, asked the court to order Mr. Dasuki’s appearance, stressing that his client needs the testimony of the former NSA who could not be reached by the defence.
“We cannot reach Colonel Sambo Dasuki. He is in the custody of the government who is also the complainant in this case. We cannot go to the DSS or EFCC or the Federal Government and ask them to give him to us. This is a man who has been granted bail by the court, but he is still being detained by the government. That is why we have, since December last year, applied to the court to issue a subpoena on him to appear. We are now compelled to come by way of motion for your Lordship to use your powers under the law to compel him to appear before you to give evidence”, said Mr. Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Mr. Ikpeazu further said Mr. Dasuki was required to ascertain the justice of the matter, since he is the one through whom the money was said to have been given to Mr. Metuh.
He added that Mr. Dasuki’s portfolio appeared in five of the seven counts against Mr. Metuh, hence the need to have him (Dasuki) testify.
The judge will also rule on a request for the temporary release of Mr. Metuh’s international passport to enable him travel for treatment in a London hospital.
Mr. Ikpeazu made the application, stressing that his client has suffered major spinal cord injuries requiring treatment.
Opposing the motion, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, asked the court to rather accelerate the matter and reach a conclusion, before allowing the accused to get medical attention.
Responding, however, Mr. Ikpeazu said other defendants with similar charges before the same court had at different times been granted leave to travel.
He argued that the application bothered on Mr. Metuh’s right to life and asked the court to grant the application.
After listening to the counsel, the trial judge, Okon Abang, fixed Thursday for ruling on both applications.