Again, Metuh asks Justice Abang to disqualify self from trial

Olisa Metuh

The former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisah Metuh, on Thursday asked Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to disqualify himself from continuing with his case.

Mr. Metuh, who made an oral application through his counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, said he no longer had confidence in the court presided by Mr. Abang.

The application followed the court’s refusal to grant two applications filed by Mr. Metuh.

One application prayed the court to summon the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, by way of a subpoena to testify as witness.

The other application prayed for to release Mr. Metuh’s international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment.

Mr. Abang said the court had in May 2016 refused Mr. Metuh’s application for the release of his passport and wondered why a similar application was brought before the court.

“The defendant ought to have appealed the earlier ruling. This is not a sentimental or sympathetic issue. It is purely an issue of law. The applicant should not create problems for the court,” Mr. Abang said.

While refusing the application to summon Mr. Dasuki for lacking in merit and substance, the court held that Mr. Dasuki was not a compellable witness in the trial.

According to Mr. Abang, there is no record before the court to prove that the defendant has made any effort to approach the authority holding Mr. Dasuki to ask for his release.

“It is not the duty of the court to compel anyone to come and give evidence in court when that person is not a compellable witness.

“The name of Dasuki was not included in the list of witnesses filed by the defendants. The question is, at what stage did the defendant make up his mind to include Dasuki’s name in its lists of witnesses?

“The application is made in bad faith and with the intention to delay the trial. The defendants have exhausted all the adjournment they are entitled to.

“The first defendant is no longer entitled to any adjournment in this matter having been granted eight adjournments since the commencement of the trial.

“Therefore, the application to issue a subpoena will not serve any purpose. The law is no respecter of persons. This application is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed.”

However, a drama ensued between the judge and Mr. Ikpeazu when the court asked him to call his next witness.

Mr. Ikpeazu said the court had shown clear bias against Mr. Metuh and added that the ruling was against the interest of justice.

“I pray the court to recuse itself from going on with the trial since we lack confidence in it. This application is made in the interest of justice.

“Every reasonable person in this country knows that we lack the capacity to meet the DSS and request them to release Dasuki to come and testify,” Mr. Ikpeazu said.

He urged the court for more time to approach the SSS to release Mr. Dasuki in the view of the refusal of the court to issue a subpoena.

On his part, prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, held that the insistence of the defendant that he could not proceed with the matter without the presence of Mr. Dasuki was misconceived and had no accommodation in law.

He urged the court to order the defendants to proceed with their defence, pending when they put their house in order to produce an appropriate witness.

Mr. Tahir urged the court to ignore the application to recuse itself from the trial and proceed with the matter.

The judge told Mr. Ikpeazu that his statement was contemptuous, but Mr. Ikpeazu insisted that his statement was backed by facts.

Mr. Abang, in a short ruling described the statement made by Mr. Ikpeazu as “contemptuous” of the court.

According to him, in contempt of the court, the judge is the complainant as well as the prosecutor and the judge, adding that he would however, not take action against Mr. Ikpeazu.

He said his action against the contemptuous remarks was not out of fear or cowardice, but because the court was trained to develop thick skin against such statements and not to pick offence when offended.

The judge further dismissed the application for the court to rescue itself for lacking in merit, saying, there was nothing before the court to show that it was biased.

He adjourned the matter till March 20, 21,22,23 and 24 for Mr. Metuh to close his case, and second defendant, Dextra to open its defence.

Mr. Metuh is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving N400million from Dasuki, “knowing fully that it was proceeds of an unlawful act.’’(NAN)


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  • Law Expats

    Premium Times Editor,

    Judge Okon Abang may not know much law

    I am curious. What startled me is that the Judge (Okon Abang) of the federal high court
    does not sound knowledgeable in law. He did not make any finding that Clonel Dasuki
    is not a competent witness but instead jumped the gun to rule that Colonel Dasuki is
    NOT compellable. The Judge gave no reason backed by law for his ignorant ruling.
    Judge Okon Abang even didn’t cite any section of Evidence Law in self-support.
    Is this what law practice became in Nigeria since i packed out of the country?

    In evidence law almost all competent witnesses are compellable witnesses except
    spouses and sovereigns and certain public officials accorded privilege by law.
    Colonel Dasuki does not fall into any of those exempt categories and he’s not
    been adjudged a lunatic without lucid intervals to be declared non-competent.
    How a competent witness without statutory privilege is not compellable will
    continue to make the Nigerian judiciary look like a slew of nincompoops.

    • dami

      Seem your law is rusty – justice abang has handled this very well…metuh’s lawyer seems out of his depth and is leading metuh to prison with what he is doing
      Dasuki was not listed as a defense witness, metuh’s team has not approached the dss to request dasuki’s attendance as a witness…if they had shown documentary evidence of this with no reply from the dss then we can say metuh and co are serious…but his lawyer seems confused or lacks the knowledge and skills to defend metuh in this matter.

      • LasgidyPort

        Don’t mind the guy’s superficial analysis. Abang is right, the move is just to delay the court. And they were caught pants down.

    • kinsly

      Internet troll. Go back to your beer parlour.

  • linkhadj.

    Chief Justice Law Expats, unfortunately, you do not have the least qualification to qualify even as a Court Clerk, yet, you want to pretend to teach the Honourable Judge how to arrive at a rulling. Since lack of school fees did not allow you to complete the course on “Elementary Law for Aspiring Court Clerks”, I advise you go and assume duty as Special Assistant to the Chairman of your Village’s Customary Court. As for Meth, please let him nominate a Judge of his choice to try his case. Chickens!

  • kinsly

    Metuh should face his charges for Christ sake and If he is not satisfied with the outcome then he can appeal. Why all the delay tactics? Our empty head SAN’s can never argue a case on its merits,they try lack of jurisdiction tactics when it fails they resort to the judge ‘disqualify yourself’ tactics. Criminal SAN’s everywhere.


      To be fair, Buhari should also face a judge for the allegations against his oblong head too; not have his own case tried in the media.

      For example, allegations of certificate forger, and genocide committer, coup plotter, evil dictator, William Jefferson briber, AWOL president, Shiite Massacre cabal member, Igbos killer, Dasuki SUV receiver, accused $2.8 Billion pilferer, general presidential debates avoider, British puppet guy, human rights violator, Awolowo killer, Fela Kuti harasser, 4 time election loser, Boko Haram clouded, ethnic jingoist, religious zealot, mean, wicked, uneducated, Judge briber, petroleum fund accused stealer, and so on…