Metuh wants trial adjourned till Dasuki is freed; Court says no

Sambo Dasuki
Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has refused to grant an adjournment in the ongoing trial of the former Peoples Democratic Party Spokesperson, Olisah Metuh, pending the release of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr. Metuh is facing trial on a seven-count charge for alleged diversion of N400 million from the office of the former NSA.

Mr. Dasuki, who was billed to appear as the eighth defence witness in Mr. Metuh’s trial, told the court on Wednesday that he could only give answers to questions from Mr. Metuh’s lawyers if he (Dasuki) is released and allowed to access his documents.

Following the submissions of Mr. Dasuki, the defence counsel, Emeka Etiaba, asked for an adjournment to allow the witness “resolve issues with those that detained him and access his documents.”

The application was however opposed by the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir.

In a short ruling by the presiding judge, Okon Abang, on Friday, the court held that the application by Mr. Metuh’s lawyer for the court to tarry until Mr. Dasuki is freed from the custody of the State Security Service lacked merit.

Mr. Abang ruled that Mr. Dasuki was not invited to come and tender documents but to give evidence based on documents already in court.

“I have considered the arguments by the defence counsel. It should be settled that to refuse or grant the request for an adjournment is at the discretion of the court. The exercise or use of the Court’s discretion should point at the justice of the case. The court will take its decision based on the facts of the case and the provisions of law.

“It is my humble view that a party that calls a witness is entitled to lead evidence from the witness, either in person or through his counsel. He is in control of his brief,” Mr. Abang said, adding that the request by the defence counsel to have Mr. Dasuki in court has already been complied with.

The judge added that a request for a further adjournment cannot be granted, as the counsel was at liberty to ask questions that will lead to the testimony Mr. Dasuki was brought to give.

“The witness is in court. The counsel is at liberty to ask the witness questions and any answer given by the witness is his testimony and he can be cross-examined on the basis of it. The witness is at liberty to not answer questions that he is unable to answer. If the witness answers the questions based on what he is asked, he can be cross-examined on that basis,” he said.

“The Court cannot intervene to grant an adjournment to enable a witness, according to him: refresh his memory, to examine documents that are not in evidence. The first defendant counsel did not make reference to any documents, neither did the witness. It is not clear, if the imaginary document is the witness’ personal documents or an official document. I say so because the witness is no longer in the office of the NSA.

“If there is any document that is not in court certainly the document will be at the office of the NSA. It is up to the defence counsel to obtain the documents from the court. The witness has not given evidence that he took official documents home. It is up to the defence counsel to obtain the documents. He should have done that earlier. The court cannot take an adjournment.

“As regards the ability of the counsel to obtain relevant documents from the witness, his detention is irrelevant. The counsel should not hinge his ability or inability to obtain the imaginary documents (if at all the documents exists) on the detention of the witness.”

Mr. Abang said Mr. Dasuki appears “sound and willing to be examined, so no attempts should be made to postpone his examination.”

“Watching his demeanor in the witness box, I think the witness is willing to answer questions. The witness that I see in the witness box is not a difficult witness. The role of a witness is to answer questions, not to give conditions.

“There are several ways to elicit relevant information from a counsel. The defence counsel cannot ask a question that will result in an application for an adjournment. To determine how the witness should answer a question is not known in law. It is the counsel’s duty to look for documents, not that of the witness.

“I think this application lacks merit. If this application is granted, the prosecution shall be overreached,” said Mr. Abang who added that granting the said application will amount to a negation of justice.

Following an order of the appeal court, in September Mr. Metuh’s request to have Mr. Dasuki appear as a defence witness, was granted by the lower court.

Although Mr. Dasuki appeared in court on Wednesday, his lawyer, Ahmed Raji, is asking the court to set aside its order for a subpoena, which compelled Mr. Dasuki to appear as a witness.

Mr. Dasuki has been in the custody of the State Security Service for over two years.


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  • Frank Bassey

    Olisa Metuh chopped alone and is dying alone. Today, he wants Dasuki appear in court to give evidence. Tomorrow he wants GEJ to be compelled to appear before Justice OKON ABANG (I didn’t even know this our brother has been brought back to Abuja from Asaba). Now he wants the case adjourned until Dasuki is freed; which is the argument of those who understand the Law. You will reap what you sowed because you never worked for PDP wholeheartedly.

    • Gabriel

      Hon. Justice Abang is still at the FEDERAL HIGH COURT, Asaba division. But because the Metuh case was part-heard prior to his transfer, he has to come to Abuja on each adjournment to preside

      • Frank Bassey

        Thanks for the elucidation.

    • kinsly

      So even if he had worked wholeheartedly for PDP we should sweep it under the carpet? Someone stole part of funds meant to keep us safe and you are talking about working for a party?.

      • Frank Bassey

        Make sure you understand issues before exposing your putrefied system. Does this comment make any sense in line with the issue you are commenting on? Does my comment suggest he should be freed? Has it been ESTABLISHED that he stole part of funds “meant to keep us safe”? Please, which court ESTABLISHED the fact …? This platform is not meant for products of incestuous relationship.

  • Sam

    This is open to see that metuh is guilty all he is doing now is to heat the polity ,by asking Gej and Dasuki to appear he is making jest of our judiciary and yet they allowed it .shame

  • Timothy

    Your counsel is just buying you time….in which if the case drags till 2019 and maybe a new govt is installed your case would be strucked out….but now you have called on an accussed facing trial for disbursing money meant for arms and you want that witness to admit in court that yes he gave you the money…is the money from his personal pocket? Besides if Dasuki was so dumb he would answer your questions but I dont think he is that stupid…whatever he says in this trial would be used as confession for the other trials he is facing…am surprised you counsel did not think of that….or he thought of it but insisted you can not go down alone with this heat…all those involved must go down with you….well smart move…but is it working?

  • henry

    Let Fasola (Minister for Power) hear this that BENIN ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY [BEDC] is making life difficult for the people.They now made it compulsory for PREPAID METER USERS to be charging with two thousand naira (N2k) minimum at once.How many Nigerian can afford to charge for 2k at once, the company is trying to take Nigeria back to the era of arbitrary bill, through the back door.The company started with N500 (naira) later to (N1000)naira, now if you don’t have 2k you cannot recharge your meter, what then make it PAY AS YOU CONSUME if I cannot recharge based on the amount I can afford per time?
    Now when the consumer cannot pay 2k the next thing is to results into cutting corners, then you turn round and say Nigerians are corrupt forgetting that these type of organisations are the one encouraging corruption.BEDC is all out to milk Nigerians and not to render service. This madness must stop.share this until the appropriate authority get to know about it.

  • Gaslaw

    I’m loving this trial as e dey go