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Court refuses Metuh’s permission for medical trip abroad

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the application filed by Chief Olisa Metuh seeking permission to travel to United Kingdom for medical treatment. Trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang on Wednesday ruled that the court which admitted Metuh to bail early this year lacks jurisdiction to allow the defendant travel because of the defendant travelling documents that are in custody.

He said Metuh’s application which was argued on Monday by his lead Defence Counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), lacks merit. Chief Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are facing trial for accepting N400 million that form part of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), former National Security Adviser (NSA)’s 2.1 billion dollars arms purchase scam.

The defendant, who had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges, last week applied to the court to grant him five weeks leave to travel abroad for medical treatment citing deteriorating health conditions after he called five witnesses who testified in his defence. In refusing the application, Justice Abang said that the court lacks jurisdiction to reverse itself of an earlier order directing the defendant to keep his international passport with the chief registrar of the high court. “This is not a case of sympathy, but a case of law. This court has no jurisdiction to entertain this application,” he said.

“The court is not Father Christmas to give to the defendant what it did not ask for.” He said that since the court order has not been set aside, the court cannot grant the defendant’s request. The judge also observed that the applicant’s medical report which were in evidence bears no significant legal weight as it was not certified. “The application lacks merit. It is accordingly dismissed,” he ruled.

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