By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja has adduced reasons why he ordered former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear before him to give evidence in the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh.
Justice Abang who summoned Jonathan to appear before him on Wednesday, said his decision was in the overall interest of justice and fair-hearing.
The summon followed an application Metuh filed for subpoena ad testificandum to be issued against the former President who he discribed as a crucial witness in his trial.
Metuh’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, told the court that his client decided to apply for the order after Jonathan snubbed letters his chambers wrote to him with respect to the case.
Meantime, at the resumed sitting on the matter on Tuesday, Justice Abang disclosed that he granted Metuh’s application in chambers yesterday.
He said: “Indeed, at the close of business yesterday being October 23, 2017 precisely at about 3.59pm, the registrar forwarded to the court in chamber a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify a the instance of the first defendant (Metuh).
“Therefore in line with section 241(1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and having regard to the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal in the appeal CA/A/159C/2017, between Olisa Metuh and Federal Republic of Nigeria dated September 29, 2017 to the effect that it will be tantamount to violating the right of the first defendant to fair hearing not to sign the subpoena.
“I have no option other than to sign a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court on September 25, 2017 (Wednesday)to give evidence at the instance of the first defendant.”
Meantime, a registrar of the court confirmed in the open court that Jonathan was yet to be served a copy of the summon.
Aside Jonathan, Justice Abang equally summoned the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, to appear before him on Wednesday.
Metuh is answering to a seven-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and his firm, Destra Investment Limited.
EFCC alleged that the former PDP spokesman had before the 2015 presidential election, received N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, without executing any contract.
It said the fund which was released to Metuh and his firm by the erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, was part of about $2.1billion earmarked for the purchase of arms to fight insurgency in the North East.
The post Metuh’s trial: Why I ordered Jonathan to appear as witness – Justice Okon Abang appeared first on Vanguard News.