Olisah Metuh Loses Bid To Disqualify Court, Others

MetuhA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by Mr Olisa Metuh seeking an end to the hearing of a suit against him in the court.          

Mr Metuh, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had asked the court to disqualify itself from hearing a matter against him on grounds of bias by the presiding judge.

Abuse Of Court Process
He had alleged in his application that the presiding judge was a classmate of his, stressing that he knew him well and was therefore, ill-disposed to deliver justice on the matter.

In an earlier response to the allegation, Justice Okon Abang said that he did not know Mr Metuh and had not met him before now, a position that prompted the court to dismiss his application as an abuse of court process.

CourtGiving his ruling on the application on Friday, Justice Abang held that there were no substantial facts or evidence given by the PDP spokesman in support of the allegation upon which the court would disqualify itself.

The court heard another application by Mr Metuh and the second defendant in the matter, Dastra Investment Limited, to suspend proceedings at the Federal High Court, pending the decision of a similar case at the Court of Appeal.

It also considered an application asking the court to return the file of the case to the chief judge for re-assignment, and an application that the matter be adjourned to enable the second defendant change the counsel representing them.

This followed a disassociation from the previous counsel, who is currently representing the first defendant, Olisah Metuh.

metuhThe EFCC had earlier filed a seven-count charge of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering against the PDP National Publicity Secretary, but he was granted bail by a Federal High Court.

Sequel to his release, the anti-graft agency arraigned Mr Metuh on a two-count charge for criminal destruction of evidence and property of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but was granted bail by Justice Okon Abang who signed his release warrant.

Olisa Metuh Released on Bail

metuhThe National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh has been released on bail.

Mr Metuh walked out of Kuje Prisons on Thursday afternoon after meeting the bail conditions given to him by the court.

A Federal High Court had on Wednesday, varied the bail conditions given to Mr Olisa Metuh.

Justice Okon Abang, signed his release warrant, upon being satisfied with the verification of the details of the two sureties provided by the accused and the title documents of the property owned by the sureties.

The verification exercise was done by the Chief Registrar of the court with the involvement of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, whom the judge directed must verify the residential addresses of the two sureties.

A court official confirmed to our correspondent that Metuh met the bail conditions and presented the necessary documents just before the close of work on Thursday.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, changed his earlier order that the sureties must be property owners in the Maitama area of Abuja only to an order that the two sureties must be owners of properties in any area of the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, retained the sum of bail which he put at 400 million Naira.

Justice Abang declined the request of the prosecution, who asked the court to expunge him as part of the verification exercise of the bail conditions on the ground that it is not in his place to make orders for the court.

Mr Metuh is accused of receiving the sum of N400 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, without a contract, contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

Mr Metuh, is also accused of converting the said money to funds for political activities of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr Metuh was arrested by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at his home on January 5.