he Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday permitted Olisa Metuh, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to commence his evidence-in-chief from outside the witness box.
Mr Metuh, while attempting to enter the dock on May 21 with the help of a walking aid, fell after which he was absent from court on May 22, 23 and 24, the next adjourned dates.
The court then decided to try Mr Metuh in absentia, and on May 25, closed his case and asked the second defendant to open his case on the next adjourned date.
The court, however, on July 3, vacated the order made on May 25 closing Mr Metuh’s case. It reopened the case to allow him testify personally and to also call two additional witnesses.
After the two witnesses had testified, Mr Metuh prayed the court to allow him call a third witness, who according to him, would lay the foundation on which he would commence his evidence.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang granted him leave to call the additional witness, saying that no sacrifice was too much for the court to make to ensure justice delivery.
When Mr Metuh’s counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, called him to enter the witness box to commence his evidence-in-chief, Mr Abang asked Mr Metuh to remain on his seat.
From his seat, following his affirmation to tell only the truth in the matter, Mr Metuh told the court that he was a lawyer, a business executive, a politician and a real estate developer.
Mr Ikpeazu, who had earlier told the court that he would only introduce the evidence of Mr Metuh, prayed the court to allow him stop and continue on the next adjourned date.
He also craved the indulgence of the court to allow his client travel to attend his daughter’s graduation abroad.
The judge said he could not act on the request since there was no formal application before the court.
The case was adjourned till October 22 to October 24 for Mr Metuh to continue with his evidence-in-chief.
Mr Metuh is standing trial along with his company, Destra Investments Limited, on a seven-count charge, including alleged laundering of $2 million.
Mr Metuh and Destra Investments Limited are also being prosecuted by the Federal Government for allegedly receiving N400 million from the office of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki.