The spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh has written a petition to the Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, demanding the replacement of Justice Okon Abang as the trial judge in his corruption case.
Metuh, speaking through his lawyer representative, Emeka Etiaba, demanded a re-assigning of his trial to a new judge as he said that the current judge deliberating his case was a former classmate of his at the University of Lagos.
According to the petition, made public by the judge as the case resumed on Thursday, “[Mr. Metuh] got very worried [when Justice Abang was assigned to the case] because he feared that he may not get justice in his court” based off of previous engagements they had together.
It was gathered that Mr. Metuh feared that his case could be prejudiced because he met with Mr. Abang last year at the Meridien Hotel in Akwa Ibom State when they discussed many issues which did not go down well.
In the intervening time, Justice Abang asked prosecution and defence lawyers whether they were aware of the letter sent to the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta.
He said: “Are you aware that after eight witnesses were called by the prosecution, and the court gave its ruling on an application of no case submission by the defence, that Mr. Emeka Etiaba wrote the registrar to the Chief Justice of the Court, asking that this case be transferred to another judge?”
The judge further denied giving certain interlocutory judgements in favour of the prosecution, and that he (Mr. Abang) was not Mr. Metuh’s former classmate.
“I am not aware that the first defendant was my classmate, he said he is my classmate,” said Justice Abang on Thursday.
Bear in mind, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is accusing Mr. Metuh of illegally receiving and spending N400 million, being part of $2.1 billion arms money diverted by former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.