Court to hear Metuh’s application against EFCC spokesman October 7
The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed October 7 for the hearing on the application filed by the former National Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh against the spokesperson, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren.
Metuh, through his counsel, Mr Abel Ozioko, filed the application following alleged misrepresentation of the proceedings of the court in the media by Uwajeren.
At the resumed hearing on Metuh’s substantive matter yesterday, his counsel drew the attention of the court to the report allegedly written and circulated by Mr Uwajeren, wherein he “misrepresented the proceedings of the court.
The publication on the EFCC website, official Facebook page and some national dailies titled: “How I Shared N400 million from Dasuki – Metuh”, was described by the defence counsel as outright falsehood and distortions aimed at “misleading the unsuspecting public” on issues regarding the case.
Ozioko told the court, presided over by Justice Okon Abang that the contemptuous publication, which he further deliberate misrepresentation intended to mislead the public, blackmail the court and derail the course of justice, did not reflect the proceeding in court on Friday, September 27.
Ozioko added that contrary to claims in the EFCC publication, Metuh “never admitted receiving any money from Colonel Sambo Dasuki neither did he admit to having shared the N400 million duly released to him by President Goodluck Jonathan, for an approved special national assignment to individuals for other purposes.”
According to the counsel, “the publication was deliberately designed to injure and drag the integrity of the court in the mud and derail a fair trial by selling to the Nigerian public, an impression that the defendant admitted receiving the said amount from Dasuki and shared same for political purposes.
“My Lord, this is very mischievous. It may lead to an outcry and public vilification of the integrity of this court when eventually the court looks at the hard evidence before it and takes a decision.
“If that decision is not in line with the impression the EFCC is creating in the mind of the public by this type of publication, the court would be accused of bias.”
Metuh’s counsel also reminded the court of various occasions the defendants had brought issues of media misrepresentations by the EFCC and how the court had continuously frowned at such practice.
He, therefore, moved a motion, to protect its integrity and put an end to the media trial in Metuh’s case by ordering that the EFCC Spokesman, Mr Uwujaren appears in court to show course why he should not be committed to prison for contempt and misrepresentation of proceedings.
In his ruling, Justice Abang fixed Monday, October 7, for hearing on the application.
Meanwhile, after further cross-examination of the defendant, the court adjourned the substantive matter to Wednesday, October 2, for the continuation of trial.