- Goodluck Jonathan, the former president, has been ordered to appear in court to testify in defence of Olisa Metuh, former national publicity secretary of PDP
- Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja said it is mandatory for Jonathan to appear in court on Wednesday, October 25
- Abang signed the subpoena to be served on Jonathan after retiring back to chambers at the end of proceedings
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, October 24, confirmed that he had signed a subpoena compelling Goodluck Jonathan, the former president, to appear in court on Wednesday, October 25, to testify in defence of Olisa Metuh, former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Punch reports that Abang signed the subpoena to be served on Jonathan after retiring back to chambers at the end of Monday’s proceedings.
NAIJ.com gathered that the judge confirmed this on Tuesday, October 24, during the resumed trial of Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering involving alleged cash transaction of $2m and fraudulent receipt of N400m meant for procurement of arms from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Justice Abang's order on the appearance of Jonathan on the matter came even as the court registrar had confirmed in the open court that former President has not been served by the bailiff.
The judge said: ''Indeed, at the close of business yesterday being October 23, 2017 precisely at about 3.59pm, the registrar forwarded to the court in chamber a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify a the instance of the first defendant (Metuh).
''Therefore in line with section 241(1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and having regard to the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal in the appeal CA/A/159C/2017, between Olisa Metuh and Federal Republic of Nigeria dated September 29, 2017 to the effect that it will be tantamount to violating the right of the first defendant to fair hearing not to sign the subpoena.
“I have no option other than to sign a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to give evidence at the instance of the first defendant.”
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Most of Metuh’s defence witnesses, including Ben Nwosu, who ended his testimony earlier on Monday, had insisted that the sum of N400m paid to the ex-spokesperson for the PDP from the Office of the NSA in November 2014, the money being part of the case against Metuh, was directly authorised by Jonathan.
Metuh, had therefore through his lead counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), told Justice Abang on Monday that he would seek to subpoena the ex-President as a defence witness.
Ikpeazu said the defence had written formally to Jonathan notifying him of intention to have him testify in court but that the former President did not reply.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that Metuh requested for an order to allow former president appear as his defence witness in a case at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
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