The trial of the erstwhile spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, for allegedly tearing up his own confession statement suffered a setback yesterday due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Ishaq Bello.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on January 21 arraigned Metuh before a Federal Capital Territory High Court on two-count charges of attempting to destroy evidence to be used for his trial in the allegation of receiving N400 million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
While Justice Bello was said to be unavoidably absent from court due to his recuperation from an eye ailment, the former PDP spokesman was also absent as he was said to be observing bed rest on doctor’s orders, at the National Hospital.
Subsequently, the court officials assigned a fresh date to the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, and defence counsels, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) and Emeka Etiaba (SAN).
Metuh is also currently standing trial on seven count charges bordering on alleged unlawful receipt of N400m from the former NSA and money laundering to the tune of $2 million.
An application by his lawyers seeking the federal high court’s permission to travel to the UK for medical treatment was on Wednesday thrown out by Justice Okon Abang, who held that Metuh had not shown sufficient evidence that the spinal cord surgery he plans on undergoing abroad, cannot be carried out in Nigeria.
The case at the FCT high court has been adjourned to June 30 for hearing.