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Court dismisses Metuh’s application for stay of proceedings

. Again, refuses his request to travel abroad for medical treatment

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday dismissed an application that sought to stay the trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh who is facing charges over alleged N400m fraud.

The court also dismissed another application filed by Metuh’s company ‘Destra Investment Limited’ the 2nd defendant, which through its lawyer, Mr. Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), asked the court to release Metuh’s passport to enable him (Metuh) to travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment for a period of five weeks .

Justice Abang said that he lacked jurisdiction to reopen the issue having heard parties and delivered a considered ruling on it on May 25, 2016 that refused the request.

Delivering the ruling yesterday, the judge said that Metuh’s application for a stay of proceeding was dismissed in line with the June 9, 2017, decision of the Supreme Court.”

The court had in March this year put the trial on hold to await the decision of the apex court which last week said that “by virtue of section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 this court has no power to stay proceedings in a criminal trial.

Justice Abang on Monday ruled: “The coast is now clear for the resumption of the trial that was suspended to abide the outcome of the application dated March 17, 2017. The application has been dismissed.”
In the light of this, the matter is adjourned until 1 pm on June 20, 2017, for further hearing of the first defendant’s case. ”

Metuh, who is insisting that the former National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) should testify as his witness, may apply to the court for Dasuki to be subpoenaed. Dasuki is currently in the custody of the Department of State Security.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited on seven count charge for fraud and money laundering charges involving the sums of $2m and N400m which they allegedly received unjustifiably from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014 to fund the PDP’ s 2015 presidential campaign.

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