Andrew Orolua, Abuja
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday reaffirmed its order that former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and former National Security Adviser Col Muhammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), must appear before it on Wednesday, October 25 to testify as defense witnesses for the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Olisa Metuh.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, are standing trial on seven counts charge for alleged money laundering involving cash transaction of $2m and fraudulent receipt of N400m from fund meant for procurement of arms at the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Justice Okon Abang who reinstated the earlier order, however said that the court will deliver ruling on a motion filed by the ex NSA who has objected to testifying in the matter. Dasuki lawyer Ahmed Raji (SAN) in asking the court to set aside the subpoena issued against his client said that Dasuki is an accomplice whose name was mentioned in the charge.
Raji (SAN) also argued that the subpoena issued against Dasuki should be set aside because Dasuki had been in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS), since September 2015 without a lawful court order.
He said the former NSA was not in the right frame of mind to testify in any matter having been denied access to documents and freedom of movement for almost 2 years by the Federal government.
Beside, the senior counsel further submitted that Dasuki having been indicted alongside Metuh in the same financial transactions was not a compellable witness that should testify in such a criminal trial.
He urged the court to set aside the subpoena against his client on account of improper service of same on him and in view of the other reasons he has adduced.
Dasuki application was vehemently opposed by Metuh , Destra Investment Limited and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Metuh’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) urged the court to discountenance Dasuki lawyer arguments on the ground that he is bound by the order of the court to be in court to give evidence in the trial.
He said that he had earlier written letters to Dasuki and the Director General of the DSS on the need to produce Dasuki in court for the purpose of giving evidence for his client but that up to yesterday, the DSS had not considered it necessary to respond to the letters.
On his part, counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir urged the court to strike out Dasuki application for four reasons.
First, that the federal high court is a subordinate court to the Court of Appeal and as such cannot review, vary or set aside a judgement of the Court of Appeal.
Second, that the judgement of the Court of Appeal and the enrolled order directing the Federal High Court to issue subpoena against Dasuki is valid, subsisting and have not being appeal against.
Thirdly, that Dasuki who seeks to set aside the subpoena was not a party at the Court of Appeal therefore cannot challenge the decision.
The EFCC counsel further argued that the judgement of the Court of Appeal have a binding effect on all parties and urged the court to refused the application filed by Dasuki.
“Fourthly, that the subpoena issued against Dasuki was a completed act that cannot be reversed by same court. That having complied with the order from Court of Appeal for issuance of subpoena, the Federal High Court cannot set aside same order..
Tahir further submitted that nothing preclude Dasuki from coming to court to testify even if he had been indicted in the same financial transaction along with Olisa Metuh.
After taking submissions from the parties justice Abang adjourned ruling to today but ordered lawyers on the matter to supply to the court the photocopies of list of authorities cited in support of their cases during oral submissions to his chamber.
The judge however said that since the order of the court made on Monday has not been vacated, both former President Jonathan and Dasuki who are called by Metuh to testify for him must be in court today.