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Metuh loses bid to travel, court rules he has case to answer

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Oludare Richards Abuja
26 May 2016   |   4:09 am
The Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday dismissed the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, challenging the ruling ...
Metuh

Metuh

The Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday dismissed the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, challenging the ruling against his (Metuh’s) no case submission in March 2016.

In another matter, the Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday dismissed an application filed by Chief Metuh for the return of his international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical attention.

Justice Okon Abang, while dismissing the application, held that there was fear that if Metuh was allowed to travel abroad, he may abscond and will not be available to face trial.

His words: “While I am not in a position to question the position of the doctor but it is my view that there was no evidence from Metuh that no hospital in Nigeria can cure him.

“There is a fear that if the first defendant is allowed to travel, he will abscond and would not be available to face trial. We have several teaching hospitals in Nigeria. The court has reasons to believe that there are hospitals in Nigerian that can cure the first defendant.

The three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki of the Appeal Court in a unanimous decision, held that questions posed by Justice Abang Okon of the Federal High Court, in the said ruling, were in order and that Olisa Metuh ought to open his case and proceed with his defence as he presently has.

The appellant (Metuh) had approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling by Justice Okon Abang against his no case submission, alleging that the said ruling had pre-determined his position in the trial.

Metuh had approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling by Justice Okon Abang against his no case submission, alleging that the said ruling had pre-determined his position in the trial.

Counsel to Metuh, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, prayed the court to determine whether certain questions posed by Justice Abang ahead of the ruling were indeed not meant to shift the burden of proof against his Metuh and compel him to concede to the disposition of the prosecution that it had established a prima-facie case against Mr. Metuh.

Justice Abang had posed the question Ikpeazu referred to, to Metuh (first defendant in the matter before the Federal High Court) for clarification on some points regarding Metuh’s reaction to the discovery of N400 million in the account belonging to his company, Destra Investment in November 2014.

Justice Abang held that if Olisa Metuh fails to make necessary clarifications on the questions, he (Metuh) would otherwise prove he was aware of the source of the funds, thereby proving right the allegations against him.

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