Andrew Orolua, Abuja
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday refused to set aside the subpoena issued against the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), saying that it lacks jurisdiction to hear it on merit.
The applicant who was to testify as defence witness on Wednesday in the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh failed to appear in court.
Justice Okon Abang who delivered two separate rulings during Wednesday’s proceedings following the absence of Dasuki and former President Jonathan in court, said that with their refusal to testify, it would be extremely difficult to proceed with the trial. The judge therefore gave court bailiffs five days to serve Jonathan with the court summons.
Visibly upset over the media reports which credited the order for former President Jonathan’s summons to appear in court to him, Justice Abang said that “the court did not on its own order Dasuki and Jonathan to appear in court.”
He said the subpoena was issued based on the application filed by the 1st defendant while the summon on Jonathan was in line with same judgment of Court of Appeal on appeal No. C/A/1596/17.
He further ruled that the subpoena served on Dasuki should be handled administratively since Dasuki is in the custody of Department of the State Security Services.
He said that the federal government who is prosecuting Metuh through its agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)” must persuade the DSS who is holding Dasuki in custody to produce him failing which it will be extremely difficult to proceed.”
Justice Abang said the court cannot apportion blame on former President Jonathan who has not been served. He agreed with Metuh’s counsel that one failed attempt made by the bailiff to serve Jonathan was insufficient.
The court directed that further attempts should be made to serve former President Jonathan personally with the summons to testify as Metuh witness.
Earlier in his ruling, the court had struck out the application by Dasuki who had sought to set aside the subpoena served on him to testify on behalf of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Metuh.
Justice Abang, ruled that having been ordered by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on September 29, 2017, he lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine the motion on merit.
He stated that determining the motion on merit would amount to an attempt to review the judgment of a higher court, the Court of Appeal.
He held that all issues raised by Dasuki, through his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), had become academic since the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the complaints.
According to the him, it would amount to “judicial anarchy” to hear Dasuki’s application on merit.
“If the applicant (Dasuki ) is dissatisfied , he should know what to do and where to go, but certainly not this court ,” the judge ruled.
Former President Jonathan and Dasuki were summoned by the court upon an application by Metuh requesting that they be ordered to testify in his defence with respect to the sum of N400 million which he received from the Office of the NSA in 2014.
The Court adjourned the trial to October 31, to enable bailiff effect service on former President Jonathan and to administratively resolve issues surrounding the non appearance of Dasuki.