Justice Abang thinks Metuh is ‘acting’ and wants to try him in absentia
An Abuja Federal High Court, headed by Justice Okon Abang has ordered that the trial of a former Peoples Democratic Party PDP National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisah Metuh would continue in his absence.
Metuh had on the 21st of May collapsed in court while attempting to enter into the dock during his hearing, an act Justice Abang think was ‘acted’ and he subsequently referred to as ‘misconduct’.
Mr Sylvanus Tahir, the prosecutor of the case had earlier on that day May 21 sought the court to proceed with the trial amidst protest by Metuh’s counsel, Mr Emeka Etiaba, (SAN) that the matter be adjourned to allow his recovery.
“I entirely agree with the submission of Tahir that what transpired in the court room amounts to a misconduct by willfully failing to abide by the directives of the court to remain on his seat.
“The court had directed the defendant to remain on his seat because in my view, he wanted to give the impression that he could not walk properly since he was using a walking aid.
“The defendant ignored the directive of the court and headed for the dock then he fell which made the court to adjourn for 29 minutes.
“When the court reconvened, I saw the court’s doctor, Adaora Ikezor in the court room, she approached the bench and told the court that the defendant needed to be taken to the hospital.
“In a normal situation, if there is an emergency in the court room, anybody can call a medical doctor to attend to the situation.
“But where the issue involves a defendant in a criminal trial, and the proceedings are ongoing, not adjourned, a medical doctor cannot attend to the defendant that purportedly needs medical attention without the permission of the court.
“This is because looking at the checkered history of this case, the court doctor cannot just on her own decide to attend to the defendant without the knowledge and permission of the court,” he said.