Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja has debunked the claim of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, that they had known each other before the PDP’s spokesperson’s trial started in his court on January 15 this year.
The judge denied the claim and other allegations contained in a petition sent by one of Metuh’s lawyers, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, asking for the re-assignment of the PDP’s spokesperson’s trial to another judge.
The judge, in his response, maintained that he never knew Metuh to be his classmate in the 1987/1988 set of the Nigerian Law School, which according to him, was made up of over 1,000 students.
The judge stated that he could not recall either seeing Metuh while at the Law School or coming across him while practising as a lawyer anywhere in the country before he (Abang) was appointed a judge in June 2009.
Justice Abang stated that contrary to Metuh’s claim, he never attended any function at the Uyo hotel where the PDP’s spokesperson claimed they met late last year.
He added that he did not see Metuh at the Law School class reunion meetings which he recently attended in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu.
He added that if Metuh had truly been his classmate, that would never change the facts of the case and the relevant laws. Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, are being prosecuted before Justice Abang by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
It can be recalled that the EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his firm on seven counts of money laundering involving $2m cash transaction and contract fraud relating to the N400m the accused allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November, 2014.