Olisa Metuh’s Trial to Continue in his Absence As Court Alludes Fall Was Stage-managed


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang, on Wednesday said he will continue to conduct the trial of Olisa Metuh, former Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in his absence.
Ruling on an application by Metuh’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba SAN, requesting the court to adjourn the trial pending when the 1st defendant recovers from illness, Justice Abang held that the application lacked merit.
Etiaba had relied under Section 266 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to apply that the trial be discontinued due to Metuh’s absence.
Abang recounted that Metuh created an impression that he could not walk freely in court on May 21, and on sympathy grounds, he directed the Court Registrar to tell the defendant to sit where he was.
The judge noted that Metuh ignored the directive and in an effort to make his way into the dock box, fell down.
This led to the evacuation of Metuh after Monday’s proceeding to the National Hospital Abuja, on the advice of Dr Adaora Ikeozor of the Federal Court Abuja, who attended to him.
However, Justice Abang stated that “it is unclear what the medical doctor, Adaora Ikeozor did in the courtroom as the court did not direct her to come”.
“In order to avoid further unpleasant scenes in the Courtroom, I decided to adjourn on the opinion of the medical doctor that the defendant needed to be evacuated to hospital,” the court held.
The Judge expressed concern that while laying on the floor, relatives of Metuh around him could not help raise him up.
“He was intermittently groaning, whispering as if he was in pain,” Abang observed, adding that the act constituted misconduct before the Court.
In the ruling, the Judge stated that there was no medical report from the defendant’s Counsel to show that he was admitted at the Intensive Care unit of the National Hospital, Abuja.
However, Justice Abang reasoned that Metuh could not have even presented a medical report because, 
“On March 25, 2018, this Court had restrained the 1st defendant from presenting any medical report. That order is still subsisting and has not been validly appealled”.
According to Justice Abang, “in the subsisting order embedded in the order of April 19, so long as that order subsists, the defendant ought to have known that the game of using medical report was up.
“The implication was that the defendant ought to have fashioned another means to delay trial,” the Court said.


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