Nigeria government asks court to revoke Metuh’s bail

Olisa Metuh is on trial for N400m financial fraud
Olisa Metuh was on trial for N400m financial fraud
Nigerian anti-graft agency, EFCC wants Olisa Metuh’s bail revoked

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the prosecuting agency in the ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) Spokesman, Olisa Metuh, has asked the court to revoke Metuh’s bail.

Mr Sylvanus Tahir, counsel to the EFCC, who made the application at the resumption of hearing of the matter on Tuesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, said Metuh should be remanded in prison.

Deal of the day

Tahir said the application was based on the grounds that Metuh had breached the terms of the bail granted him by the court, by being absent in court for two days with no cogent reason.

The prosecutor asked the court to discountenance the submissions of the defence as to why Metuh was absent in court.

“Since the defendant has been absent from court for two days for inexplicable reasons, and bearing in mind that the defendant is enjoining the bail of the court and has undermined the purpose of the bail.

“The prosecution is constrained to apply for the revocation of the bail pursuant to Sections 137(b) and 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice.

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“We urge the court to revoke the bail and commit the defendant to prison pending the determination of his case.”

He further told the court that he was vehemently opposed to the application to vacate the days already fixed for trial and adjourn to the next dates convenient for the court.

On the said medical report sent to the court by one Dr. O.C. Ekweugwu of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Universiry Teaching Hospital, Anambra, the prosecutor said there was nothing before the court to prove the authenticity of the letter.

“The letter ought to have come by way of an affidavit, but nobody has deposed to an oath verifying the worth of the so called medical report, rather the report was just dumped in the court.”

He further submitted that it was of no purpose for the defence to ask the court to order an investigation to ascertain the veracity of the medical report.

Mr Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN), counsel to Metuh, had in his submission, prayed the court to vacate the earlier dates the court had fixed for the trial and fix fresh dates in the interest of justice.

Ikpeazu urged the court to grant the application on the grounds that his client was currently in hospital undergoing treatment for a spine related illness.

He further submitted that being a criminal case, it was mandatory for his client to be in court since it was against the law to proceed with the matter in the absence of his client.

Mr Tochukwu Onwubufor (SAN), counsel to the second defendant in the matter said that he aligned himself with the submissions of Ikpeazu.

Onwubufor, however, added that there was substantial reason for Metuh’s absence in court.

“There is a letter from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra stating the medical condition of the first defendant.”

On the question of the authenticity of the report and whether the person who signed it was indeed a medical doctor, the counsel asked the court for time to investigate.

The judge, Justice Okon Abang said the court noted that there was no proof before the court to show that the person who issued the letter was a medical doctor or an employee of the hospital.

Abang added that the hospital was not a party in the matter and that the person who issued the letter was not in court to testify.

He further wondered how the said letter found its way into the court records.

He adjourned the matter until January 24 for continuation of arguments by counsel.