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Jonathan files application to quash appearance at Metuh’s trial

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Court adjourns to decide whether to join Diezani in suit against Belgore

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has filed an application before a Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking to set aside the subpoena issued by the court for his appearance in court to give evidence in the trial of the former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman, Olisa Metuh.

In the application, filed on his behalf by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) yesterday, the former president is asking the court to order Metuh, in the alternative, to deposit with the court N1 billion for him to cover his travelling expenses.

He said the demand for the money is in line with the provisions of Section 241 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2005.

According to him, the money would cover his travelling expenses from Otuoke in Bayelsa State to Abuja as well as his security personnel, security and logistics around the court during his appearance in the court as former president of the country.

The application was supported by a six-paragraph affidavit deposed to by litigation secretary in the chambers of Mike Ozekhome and Usman Salihu.

In another development, Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has fixed tomorrow for ruling on the application filed by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to be joined as a defendant in the alleged N500 million fraud charge involving a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Belgore together with a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, on a five-count charge bordering on N500 million fraud.

The EFCC had also named the former petroleum minister as an accomplice in the criminal trial. She was, however, described as being “at large”.

At the resumed trial yesterday, counsel to Alison-Madueke (applicant), Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), succinctly asked the court to grant his application for joinder of the applicant, in the sole interest of justice.

But counsel to the first accused, Mr. E. O. Shofunde (SAN), who objected the motion for joinder, said that the applicant was not a necessary party to the suit since in the end, the court would only decide the guilt or innocence of the first and second accused.

In his response, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, aligned with the first defence counsel, and vehemently opposed the application for joinder.
The judge, after listening to parties in the suit, adjourned to tomorrow, November 1, 2017, for ruling.



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