‘Metuh should not be denied access to his lawyers’

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A legal practitioner in Jos, the Plateau state capital, Barrister Lawrence Anyia, has said the continuous refusal of Olisha Metuh’s lawyers to gain access to him is unconstitutional as his fundamental human right is being trampled upon.

Anyia stated this in an interaction with Daily Times correspondent on Wednesday, stating that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson, Olisha Metuh’s arrest will be mis-interpreted if the rule of law is not applied.

Metuh was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, on the grounds that some money running into millions of naira was traced to his company account.

The lawyer stated said if the PDP spokesperson was arrested on the said ground, the matter should be quickly investigated and charged to court, rather than keeping him without access to his lawyers.

In his words: “Metuh Should not be stripped of his fundamental rights, as the constitution clearly states that he has the right to prepare for his defence at an adequate time, and gaining access to his lawyers will facilitate that adequate time by the constitution. He should be given the chance of fair hearing and he can only do that by preparing his defence through his lawyers. So the EFCC must not keep him more than constitutionally required.”

Anyia is also quoted saying that if Metuh is kept incommunicado against the law by the EFCC, it will give vent to the previous statement the PDP spokesperson had made earlier, saying that there are grand design aimed at eliminating him.

“I just hope that the EFCC will not be used in that direction because it will be terrible. The EFCC is bound by the constitution and the constitution says if you arrest, don’t detain the person more than 24hrs, unless the matter is a murder charge or a treasonable felony” Anyia added.

He further stated that he hope the EFCC is not drawing inspiration from the Presidential Media Chat where the President erred by saying he will not release Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu. “The President constituted himself into a court when he made that statement. For heaven sake, we have separation of power in this country and the President should not have made such statement”, he retorted.

In connection with the media chat statement against his refusal to release Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu, Barrister Anyia said that it is rather unfortunate that in a democratic system like ours, the President will be making such a statement.

Anyia, however, advised the President to seek the advice of the Attorney General, next time he will be going for a media chat because such statement portray us as a nation that does not obey the rule of law.

 

 

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