PDP’s former Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh was wheeled on a stretcher before the Abuja High Court Justice Okon Abang on Monday.
Metuh, in a neck brace and white hospital swaddle, was on trial for allegedly receiving N400 million of $2.1 billion arms fund mismanaged by ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki in the run-up to 2015 general elections.
Justice Abang, had on January 25, rejected a letter from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra, stating that Metuh was on admission.
Because the letter was not filed before the court formally, and the content didn’t reflect Metu’s on-going trial, the trial judge had to dismiss it.
Justice Abang then ordered that Metuh should either be in court on Monday or risk the revocation of his bail and be sent back to prison.
Brought in an ambulance, with a number plate, 44Q 20FG, Metuh was stretchered in to the first floor of the five-storey court, and remained motionless for most of the 90 minutes he spent there, until the case was adjourned around 10.27am on Monday.
His lawyer Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) told the judge that his client was still ill but had to be discharged by the hospital in Nnewi against the doctor’s advice out of respect for the court.
He sought an adjournment, an application which the counsel for the second defendant,
Destra Investments Limited, Mr. Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), supported.
The EFCC prosecutor didn’t object, either.
“I have just been served a few moments ago with an affidavit of facts referred to by the
learned counsel for the first defendant,” said EFCC lawyer Sylvanus Tahir.
“My lord, we are not in a position to counter what is contained in the affidavit and what has been amplified by the counsel for the first defendant.
“However, as a layman, being a mere mortal, I can see the first defendant in the condition in which he is. Therefore we will not oppose the application for adjournment made by the counsel for the first defendant.”
But Tahir sought to know the duration of the medical attention which was not stated in the affidavit.
Ikpeazu added that the doctor refused to give any date within which Metuh needed to be monitored.
But the lawyer assured the court that his client should be fit to continue his trial after a period of one month.
In his ruling, Justice Abang reiterated that although the court needed to be firm at all times, it should also be humane when necessary.
He then adjourned the matter till March 14 for continuation of trial.