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Former President Goodluck Jonathan must appear before the court as a defendant witness on Wednesday in the case of alleged financial misappropriation involving former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh.

This is according to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The order of the court was in the granting of an application filed by Olisa Metuh, to compel the ex-president to testify in the N400 million fraud charge brought against the applicant.

Justice Okon Abang declared that the ex-president was mandated by the decision of the appellate court to appear before him (Abang) to testify in the criminal suit.

Although he said that Jonathan had not been served the notice, according to him, once there was evidence that he had been served notice of the invitation, the former president must appear.

Also expected to appear, according to the judge was the former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.

He is also to appear as a defendant witness.

The judge said that Jonathan and Dasuki were issued subpoena by the court on the order of the Appeal Court to act as defendant’s witnesses to Metuh.

The N400 million which is the subject of graft was said to have been released from Dasuki’s office.

Abang adjourned ruling on the motion filed by counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), challenging the propriety of the subpoena compelling his client to testify in Metuh’s trial.

Abang said the subpoena mandating both Jonathan and Dasuki to appear in the court on Wednesday must be complied with even as a motion against it was yet to be decided.

“I have taken note of arguments of parties on the motion challenging the appearance of Dasuki in this matter as a defendant witness.

“I need time to consider all the arguments because my library is in Asaba, where I now base. In the light of this, the ruling is adjourned until October 25,’’ he held.

Dasuki’s counsel had approached the trial court for it to set aside the subpoena aimed at compelling his client to act as defendant witness in Metuh’s fraud trial.

He argued that the move was unjust.

According to him, his client was not in the right frame of mind to perform such role.

It would be recalled that Dasuki has been in detention for a long time.

Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and Mr Sylvester Tahir, counsel for Metuh and EFCC respectively objected to the application, as according to them, both Dasuki and Jonathan were competent witnesses in the matter.

Ikpeazu said: “It is about time everything was placed on the table.’’

On his part, Tahir said nobody was above the law, adding that the defendant and not the prosecution had sought the appearance of both Dasuki and Jonathan in the matter.
(NextEdition)

 

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