The trial of the former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Olisa Metuh, almost came to a tragic end yesterday when he collapsed as he was walking into the dock for his trial before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court. Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are facing trial on allegations that he fraudulently received N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.
Metuh, who arrived the court in an ambulance, was seated in the courtroom close to the dock. When his case was called yesterday, he fell down while walking to the dock.
Before the near-tragic incident, Justice Okon Abang had noticed Metuh’s wobbling steps and asked that he remained in his seat.
Abang abruptly stood down the matter to enable medical officials to attend to the defendant. The court’s medical officials, whose attention were called after the incident, rushed into courtroom and attended to him briefly.
After recalling the matter, Abang asked three of his court officials to explain what had transpired.
According to the court officials, “Mr. Metuh defied the warnings of the judge to remain on his seat but insisted on entering the dock.”
Abang then ordered the defence team to proceed with the business of the day by calling its witness.
Responding, however, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, informed the court that he would like to excuse himself from the matter. Etiaba explained that the manner in which the case was proceeding had forced him to consider suspending his appearance as counsel in the matter.
Irked by Emeka’s utterances, Abang, who overruled him, also criticised the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, for his refusal to object to the request for adjournment as well as the withdrawal of Etiaba.
The judge threatened to discharge the defendant, if the prosecution was unwilling to “seriously prosecute his case.”
He adjourned the matter till tomorrow.