- The trial of Olisa Metuh continues in his absence
- When the case came up on Friday, May 25, his lawyers were not in court
- Justice Okon Abang ruled that the trial should continue
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja continued with the trial of a former national publicity ecretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, in his absence and that of his lawyers on Friday, May 25.
Metuh has not been in the court since Monday, May 21, when he collapsed before the judge.
The Punch reports that his lead lawyers, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) and Onyechi Ikpeazu, who were appearing in court before now, did not turn up on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25. There were also no explanations for his absence.
Justice Okon Abang was forced to adjourn on Thursday, May 24, due to the absence of legal representation for Metuh.
When the case came up on Friday, May 25, the judge reportedly ordered the continuation of the trial after overruling an objection to the application by the lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Sylvanus Tahir, for the trial to proceed in the absence of Metuh and his lawyers.
The report said the objection was raised by Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), who is the counsel for Metuh’s co-accused, Destra Investment Limited, who argued that the law never envisaged that a criminal trial would ever be conducted behind a defendant and his counsel.
Dismissing the objection, Justice Abang reportedly ruled that although the court had ruled that the matter would proceed in Metuh’s absence, the lack of appearance of the defence team was designed to frustrate the trial.
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Abang explained that the court did not bar Metuh from the proceedings but that it only held that “the trial will proceeding in his absence.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Olisa Metuh collapsed in court on Monday, May 21.
Metuh is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegation that he fraudulently received a sum of N400m in 2014 from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
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