FRAUD: N400 million fraud: Judge accuses defence counsel of frustrating trial

Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday, expressed displeasure as the various methods being employed by the defence team of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, in the ongoing N400 million alleged fraud by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Justice Abang observed that the various adjournments at the instance of the 1st defendant were attempts to prolong, frustrate and scuttle the matter entirely, especially since the defence team handed over the matter to A.C Oziakor. The judge added that the major reason for employing Oziakor’s services was to frustrate the trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Metuh before Justice Abang for allegedly receiving N400 million from ONSA in 2014, to run advocacy campaign for former President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the 2015 general elections. The trial of Metuh was stalled Wednesday, April 10, 2019, due to the absence of counsel to the 1st defendant, A.O Onsiowu.
At the resumed sitting yesterday, the prosecution counsel, S. Tahir told the court that the matter the prosecution is ready for the continuation of the trial, adding that the 15th defence witness, who is also the 1st defendant in the matter was in the dock for cross-examination just as the Counsel to the 2nd defendant, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN) also informed the court of their readiness to proceed.
But Metuh’s counsel, Oziakor, who was absent in court sent a letter to the court which was served to all parties involved, seeking another adjournment because he has another matter at the State High Court Adamawa, Yola State.
He attached a copy of his flight ticket to Yola to the letter. It will be recalled that the case had witnessed four different adjournments which has always been granted.
However, the prosecution counsel opposed the application, adding that the trial has suffered enough adjournment. My Lord, we were served the letter around 8:45 am and we have gone through it my Lord and I vehemently oppose the adjournment, on a normal day, a prosecution ought not to oppose to such application seeking court indulgence for an adjournment. But in this case, I am constrained to oppose the application seeking another adjournment, he stated.



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