A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has directed the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, to open its defence by 12pm on Thursday in his ongoing trial for corruption the despite absence of the defence lawyers.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Okon Abang stood down the trial of Metuh to 12pm after the prosecution and the defence counsel failed to show up.
Metuh and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, were being docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on seven counts of fraud relating to the N400m he received from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2012 and $2m money laundering cash transaction.
Metuh was in court on Thursday without his lawyers.
Both counsels sent letters to the court notifying their absences; however the contents of the letters sent were not the same.
While Metuh’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), in his letter, asked the court to adjourn the trial for the reason that he was attending to a medical appointment at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, the Commission’s counsel, Tahir Sylvanus, in his own letter, asked for a stand-down until 12pm instead.
Tahir explained that he was handling a case at the Supreme Court as of 9am, on Thursday.
In his ruling, the judge, thereafter, said that the matter be stood down until 12pm.