Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A HIGH court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday shifted its ruling on the no-case submission filed by former publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, over alleged destruction of evidence, to July 11. Metuh was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in January 2015 on two charges bordering on alleged destruction of evidence.
The adjournment was with the consent of counsel to the parties following the absence of Justice Ishaq Bello. The case was earlier adjourned until May 31 for ruling.
Counsel to Metuh, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had, on October 10, 2017, told the court that they would enter a no-case submission at the close of the prosecution’s case. While arguing the no-case submission, Ikpeazu told the court that the prosecution had not established any case to warrant the defendant to be called to enter his defence.
He said that the application was pursuant to the provisions of sections 302 and 357 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
The counsel added that the defendant had a constitutional right to liberty and could not be prosecuted where he either refused to make a statement or withdrew any part of his writing in the course of making a statement. Ikpeazu said that the defendant also had a right to cancel any part of his statement voluntarily.
He reminded the court that the charge by the EFCC was that Metuh destroyed his statement and obstructed EFCC officials by willfully tearing his statement. Ikpeazu further argued that a piece of paper not signed did not qualify as a statement by the defendant, and urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendant.
But the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to establish whether or not a prima facie case had been made against the defendant.
Tahir added that cancellation was different from tearing, which was obstruction. He prayed the court to call upon the defendant to enter his defence.