- Olisa Metuh has given an insight on reasons he changed counsels representing him before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja
- The former PDP spokesperson said his counsels were constantly being harassed and intimidated since the assumption of his trial at the court
- According to Metuh, the lawyers have remained steadfast on proving his innocence and have gone to considerable personal costs in the conduct of the matter before the court
A former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has opened up on why he changed the team of counsel representing him at the Federal High Court in Abuja over a criminal case of receiving N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Metuh in a statement released on Wednesday, March 20, said since the assumption of his trial at the Federal High Court three years ago, his counsels, Onyechi Ikpeazu and Emeka Etiaba, have been under undue pressure and intimidation on account of the conduct of this case.
He said despite the intimidation, the lawyers have remained steadfast on his innocence and have gone to considerable personal costs in the conduct of the matter before the court.
The PDP chieftain however, noted that his decision to change the counsel came on the heels of threat to their (lawyers) personal lives and freedom.
He said the recent development led to their decision to apply to the court to withdraw from the case.
Metuh also noted that the recent day-day trial ordered by the court has also made it difficult for his counsels to give his case the needed time and full attention due to their involvement in other cases before several other courts.
He said: "It is public knowledge that in the course of this trial, I have restricted the travails to myself only as I do not wish any other person to be part of the humiliation, tribulation (including health challenge) and persecution that I have suffered over time."
"I therefore came to the conclusion that instead of allowing the issue of their withdrawal to be at the discretion of the court, it was better in the circumstance, to free them from the harrowing challenges they have been facing on account of the conduct of this case," Metuh said.
"It is pertinent to state that the said Counsel are however still representing me in other matters in other courts, as my estimation, respect and value for them have increased now, more than ever before.
"More importantly, there has been a smooth transition as I have been mindful of any undue delay in the change of Counsel, even with the difficulty and near impossibility of getting a Senior Counsel in Nigeria, who will endure the threats and pressures from official quarters as well as abandon election petitions in this season.
"My fervent prayer remains that at the end of the day, justice will not only be done, but would also be seen to be have been done in this matter," Metuh said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Metuh's trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja, took a dramatic twist on Tuesday, March 5, as his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu and Emeka Etiaba filed a motion to withdraw from the matter, citing “immense pressure with respect to their appearance in the case” as well as “severe threats” to their lives.
The counsels, who were not in court, had in the motion on notice, further cited the order of the court for day to day hearing of the matter, which they noted that they cannot afford, “having regard to diaries of their respective offices.”
The decision followed a previous hearing on the matter could not go on on Monday, March 4 after Etiaba informed the court that he was summoned by a government agency on that same day, forcing the court to adjourn to Tuesday, March 5.
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