Metuh asks court to invite Dasuki as witness in arms deal trial
Former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, yesterday asked Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, to subpoena (invite) the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, to testify in his trial.
Dasuki has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) over an allegation of involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are facing a seven-count charge of fraud amounting to N400 million.
At the resumed trial yesterday, counsel to Metuh, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), reminded the judge of the subpoena (invitation) pending before him since December last year, wherein he was requested to order Dasuki to appear as a defence witness in line with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Etiaba reminded the judge that Dasuki is a key element in the charge preferred against Metuh by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and as such, his appearance in court was critical to the case of the defence.
Responding, Justice Abang advised both the defence and prosecuting counsel to liaise with the authorities holding Dasuki so as to release him to appear in court.
According to Justice Abang: “It was only after the defence and prosecution had approached the relevant authority and the authority refuses to release Dasuki to them that they should come back to me.”
But counsel to the second defendant (Destra Investment Limited) Tochukwukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), held that it was the duty of the court to issue a subpoena to anyone to appear in court.
The defence team had on December 2, 2016, prayed the court to subpoena Dasuki to appear before it as the next witness.
The defence team hinged its prayers on the ground that since the allegation against Metuh revolved around Dasuki, it was only imperative for Dasuki to be a witness in the matter.
Meanwhile, the defence team had on Tuesday presented a medical report from the National Hospital, Abuja, where Metuh has been receiving treatment for spinal cord-related illness.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, in his response, told the court that he was not opposed to an adjournment, rather, the prosecution had sympathised with the defence and wished the defendant quick recovery.
Justice Abang adjourned the matter till February 21 for continuation of the hearing.