19 June 2017

Nigeria: Again, Court Refuses to Suspend Metuh's Trial

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has refused an application by a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, for the suspension of his trial pending the determination of his appeal at the Supreme Court.

Mr. Metuh is facing trial on a seven-count charge of fraud brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

He is accused of receiving N400 million illegally from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, but has denied doing anything wrong.

Mr. Metuh is asking the apex court to set aside an earlier decision of the high court which ordered the defendant to open his defence.

He also asked the Supreme Court to suspend his ongoing trial at the lower court, pending the determination of his substantive appeal, but the application was refused on June 10.

The apex court in a ruling on the matter asked Mr. Metuh to continue his trial while the ongoing appeal subsists.

Mr. Metuh had asked that his trial be suspended, also at the lower court; pending the determination of the ongoing application at the apex court.

In a short ruling however, the presiding judge, Okon Abang, said the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA does not encourage such an adjournment.

The court noted that Mr. Metuh's application amounted to a stay of the matter and therefore is not in line with constitutional provisions.

The case was adjourned till Tuesday.


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