The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted leave to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to proceed with the trial of embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, in his absence.
On Wednesday, Justice Okon Abang said the court was entitled to proceed with the trial in Metuh’s absence, considering the defendant’s previous several attempts to frustrate the trial and the way he allegedly conducted himself after he fell down in court on Monday.
Justice Abang agreed with EFCC that Metuh had on Monday, engaged in gross misconduct when he disobediently attempted to enter the dock after the court had permitted him to remain where he was initially seated. He noted that Metuh subsequently fell down on his own and disrupted proceedings by whispering loudly in the open court and groaning intermittently, “giving the impression that he was in serious pain”.
“The 1st defendant has no right to hold this court to ransom by doing things or taking steps deliberately intended to scuttle his trial. The 1st defendant has repeatedly made the court of law look like an accident scene. This conduct should not be allowed in the temple of justice” Justice Abang held.
He added that since April 2016, Metuh has repeatedly “erected several road blocks aimed at frustrating this trial”. “In a bid to dismantle those road blocks, the court was accused of being biased and conducting unfair trial. However, this court will stand its ground and always do what is right” He said.
Olisa Metuh is answering to a seven-count charge alongside his firm, Destra Investment Ltd. EFCC alleged that he received N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, prior to the 2015 presidential election, without executing any contract.