- As Appeal Court reserves ruling indefinitely
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday said it iwa ready to pronounce on the appeal filed by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, over the refusal by a Federal high court judge, Justice Abang to compel the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce one-time National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to testify in his case.
Metuh had requested the court to issue him a subpoena duces tecum on the DSS to produce Dasuki in court and subpoena duces testificandum on Dasuki himself to testify on his behalf in court.
But the trial high court had rejected the requests, a development which compelled Metuh to file an appeal to upturn the high court decision on the matter.
Both the prosecution and Metuh’s defence team concluded their submission in court on Wednesday with the panel of justices that heard the case reserve judgment in the matter.
Lawyer to the applicant, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), had argued Metuh’s motion seeking to upturn the decision of the trial court while the respondent counsel, Sylvanus Tahir urged the court to dismiss the application.
Justice Abang, had in a ruling, dismissed Metuh’s application that sought to compel Dasuki’s appearance in court to give evidence in his trial.
In rejecting the application, the presiding judge held that Dasuki was not a compellable witness and therefore advised Metuh to seek other ways of getting the secret police to produce the erstwhile NSA for the exercise.
According to Metuh, his resolve to approach the trial court was predicated on his inability to get the DSS to produce Dasuki.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Metuh approached the appellate court for intervention, insisting that Dasuki’s evidence was necessary to establish his innocence.
This, is because, Metuh is principally charged to have known that the N400 million paid into his account was part of the proceeds of alleged illegal activities of the retired colonel.
The defence held that his appearance and testimony were crucial for justice to be done in the case.
Metuh is, therefore, praying the Court of Appeal to upturn the ruling of the trial court and compelled the DSS to produce Dasuki to testify in the case, as his name has featured in five of the seven charges preferred against Metuh.