The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has dismissed the application filed by the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, requesting for permission to travel abroad for his medical treatment.
At the resumed trial on Wednesday, the judge, Justice Okon Abang, held that he lacked jurisdiction to release Metuh’s passport.
Abang’s verdict is coming on the heels of an application filed to the court by the counsel of Metuh on May 23 seeking permission to allow him travel to the United Kingdom for five weeks to attend to his failing health.
Metuh’s lawyer, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, had requested the court to permit the release of Metuh’s passport so that if the first application is granted, he would be able to travel for the proposed treatment of his ailing spinal cord.
After much deliberation, Mr. Abang stated in his ruling, today, that the application seeking the release of Mr. Metuh’s international passport can not be granted by his court.
He explained that the decision was made with regards to the nature of Mr. Metuh’s trial and that the court cannot hold back its decision.
Abang said: “Proceedings in a court of law is not based on sentiments,” adding that “the court cannot set aside its decision. I have no jurisdiction to do so.”
“The court is not Father Christmas to give to the defendant what it did not ask for.
He added that since the court cannot grant Mr. Metuh his second prayer, there would be no need to consider the application for Mr. Metuh’s trip abroad.
“Having dismissed prayer two, it is not important to discuss the merits of prayer one,” Justice Abang said.
“Discussing prayer one amounts to an academic exercise.”
The judge then urged Metuh to approach the Appeal Court to request for the release of his passport, saying that he would only consider the merits of Metuh’s first application, when the higher court decides on that.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on charges including fraudulent collection of N400m from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, in November 2014.