Armsgate: Again, Metuh refuses to enter defence, insists on change of trial judge

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh on Thursday refused to enter his defence at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Metuh, who had severally sought for adjournment, refused to enter his defence at the resumed hearing of his case because there were pending applications before the court and that his lead counsel, Ikpeazu Onyechi was sick.

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One of Metuh’s lawyer, Emeka Etiaba explained that the lead defence counsel, Onyechi, said he could not make it to court, asking for an adjournment.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang informed the court that Metuh through his lawyer filed two motions seeking an adjournment and a change of the trial judge.

Speaking on the application for adjournment, Etiaba said, “I will rather urge the court to rule on the matter and if it rules that it should go on today then we will get to the bridge of the matter.”

The prosecution team, led by Silvanus Tahir, said it is not aware of the motion asking for a change of judge but confirmed the receipt of a letter asking for stay of proceedings.

“This morning at about 8.33am the prosecution was served with a letter dated 23 March 2016 from the lead defence counsel. As for the motion asking the court to change itself from sitting on the matter, the prosecution is ignorant.”

Tahir, while opposing the motion for adjournment, lamented the consistent push by the defence for adjournment.

Justice Abang however refused to take the submission by Etiaba, saying the letter for adjournment was not received by the court.

“This court is not a post office, I blame my registrar for the mix-up in the adjournment. Letter for adjournment should be forwarded before court sittings not when proceedings is in session.”

Etiaba, who insisted that Metuh has not in anyway delayed proceedings said, “My lord, the defendant who had always attended court has not in anyway contributed to delay of today’s proceedings.”

Justice Okon Abang in his ruling said, ” In my view, I will take the application for the court to disqualify itself from the matter. Where the application succeeds, it will grant stay of proceedings in line with the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision; but if it fails, the defendant will be at liberty to open its defence for the last time.”

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