From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Olisa Metuh, on Tuesday, insisted he will not testify or call any other witness in his trial until former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he has asked the court to issue a summons, testifies as his witness.
Metuh told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court that whatever further steps he would take in the defence of his case, would largely depend on what former President Goodluck Jonathan would tell the court in respect of the case.
His position was conveyed to the court through his counsel, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), and the counsel representing his company — Destra Investments Limited — Mr. Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN).
However, Justice Abang who dismissed the submission as unknown to law insisted yesterday ordered ordered that Metuh would continue his defence on Wednesday, while the court bailiff would make another attempt to serve Jonathan on December 11.
“Whether a party will call a witness or not cannot be predicated on the evidence of a witness yet to be called,” Justice Abang ruled again on Tuesday.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the court, Etiaba said he would appeal against the judge’s decisions.
Meanwhile, the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, accused Metuh of using the subpoena on former President Jonathan as a ploy to arm twist the court and delay the trial.
He further accused Metuh of playing a game of cheese by indulging in hide and seek thereby keeping the court guessing as to whether or not he has lined up other witnesses to testify in the case other than former president Jonathan.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had alleged in some of the seven counts preferred against Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, that the ex-PDP spokesperson fraudulently received the sum of N400m from Office of the National Security Adviser without any justification and spent the funds on the party’s and personal affairs.
Metuh was also accused of transacting with $2m cash said to be above the threshold of cash payments prescribed by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
But Metuh had insisted that both the then NSA, Sambo Dasuki, who released the sum of N400 million and, and Jonathan, who allegedly authorised the payment, were required to testify in the case.
While Dasuki eventually testified in the case, the court bailiff had so far been unable to serve Jonathan personally.
On Monday, while ordering the court bailiff to make another attempt to serve Jonathan with the witness summons, the judge insisted that the trial must continue with Metuh either testifying himself or calling another witness other than the former President as his next witness.
The judge then fixed Tuesday for continuation of trial.
But at the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Metuh’s lawyer, Etiaba, insisted that Metuh still wanted Jonathan to first testify before deciding on whether or not the defendant would personally testify in the case.