23 May 2018

Nigeria: Olisa Metuh Stage-Managed Own Fall in Court, Judge Rules

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Wednesday said former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, stage-managed his fall in the court room on Monday to stall his trial.

The court then ruled for continuation of the trial on Thursday.

Mr Metuh is facing a seven-count charge before the court for alleged diversion of N400 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The former PDP spokesperson, who was diagnosed of having spinal cord injuries, fell while walking towards the dock on Monday.

On Tuesday when the case resumed, Mr Metuh did not appear in court.

His lawyers linked his absence to his health condition and applied for an indefinite adjournment of the trial.

But the prosecution objected to the application, following which the court adjourned until Wednesday to rule on it.

When the court resumed on Wednesday, the trial judge, Okon Abang, gave the ruling that the trial should continue, saying there is still no valid evidence before the court for the defendant's absence.

According to Mr Abang, Mr Metuh did not collapse in the court room on Monday but rather fell on his own while walking towards the dock, after ignoring the directives of the court to sit for his trial.

"And while on the floor, he made series of groans which stopped the proceedings making the court room look like an accident scene," the judge said.

"There was no attempt even by those he came with to raise him, which also delayed the proceeding for 29 minutes.

"However, the court doctor was not in the court to see what transpired, so how did she know there was an emergency?

"And as a court doctor, you are expected to have invitation to attend to emergencies, so who gave her the order and who is she to tell the court that the defendant was in need of medical attention?"

Mr Abang said the first defendant's fall on Monday was deceitful, describing it as something planned or calculated.

"It is a complete disregard and disobedience to the court and so the defendant has jumped bail, as there is no reasonable application for the defendant's absence.

"And as such, the trial will continue 24th May 2018 by 1p.m," he said.


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