The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Monday told the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, that the court would not issue an order to the Federal High Court to stay proceedings of his trial.
Mr. Metuh, through his counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, asked the court to halt his ongoing trial at the Federal High Court pending the determination of his other applications at the appellate court.
The case was then fixed for hearing on Monday, April 25.
But Tochukwu Onwubufor, counsel to Mr. Metuh’s company, Destra Investment Ltd, on Monday told the court that his client would henceforth appear independent of the first defendant, Olisa Metuh.
Mr. Onwubufor told the court that his client had a legal prerogative to adopt a new client and had appointed a separate client for the second defendant.
“As soon as I announce to be a counsel, he ceases automatically to be counsel,” said Mr. Onwubufor while explaining his replacement of Mr. Ikpeazu for the second defendant.
Mr. Onwubufor also informed the court of his decision to adopt the brief filed by Mr. Ikpeazu.
Subsequently, Mr. Ikpeazu withdrew his earlier appearance for the first and second defendant.
The court however overruled an argument by prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, that Mr. Onwubufor should not be allowed to adopt an application filled by another counsel.
A three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki told counsel to Mr. Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Ltd, that the appeal court lacked power to stay proceedings at a lower court.
Mr. Aboki said it was wrong on the part of the appellant to have filed such an application before the appeal court.
He however asked them to pursue their appeal, but bear in mind that the court would not entertain any application for stay of proceedings.
“You can pursue your appeal; but you will have to return to the lower court to make your matter heard,” said Mr. Aboki.
The judge therefore adjourned the matter till May 5, for Mr. Sylvanus to submit his reply brief.
Ruling on the case of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, the court fixed May 5 for hearing, while another application by a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, was adjourned to April 27 for hearing.
(Source: PREMIUM TIMES)