– The presiding Judge in Metuh’s case Okon Abang said the court will only hear a preliminary objection raised by the counsel to the second defendant, Destra Investment.. Limited challenging its jurisdiction
– Abang also reserved hearing on the objection raised by Tochukwu Onwubufor, counsel to the second defendant in the case
There was slight drama in court today, April 20, when the counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked the court to discharge a defense witness in the ongoing trial of the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.
At the ruling, the judge over the matter, Okon Abang said the court will only hear a preliminary objection raised by the counsel to the second defendant, Destra Investment Limited challenging its jurisdiction.
Abang had reserved hearing on the objection raised by Tochukwu Onwubufor, counsel to the second defendant.
His ruling came after Onwubufor had in an application challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear count one and two of the charge against Destra Investment Limited.
But Abang said the matter before the court is a criminal matter.
He also said the Administration of Criminal Justice Act on which the prosecution premised in his objection the preliminary objection is the act guiding the matter before it which is a criminal matter.
He said the objection by the second defendant shall be entertained at the end of the proceedings when judgement is to be given.
Abang also said the decision as given by Supreme Court as argued by the second defendant’s counsel does not apply to the matter before the court.
He said the right of the objection by the second defendant will be reserved.
But in an objection to the court’s ruling, the counsel to the second defendant, Tochukwu Onwubufor said he expected that the court would at least hear the application and then reserve its ruling. He said the law allows that a preliminary objection to be heard alongside a substantive matter.
Also, the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir said that if Onwubufor does not wish to cross examine the defense witness
But Abang again said no party can call on the court to revisit any issue it has taken decision.
He ruled that the second defendant counsel must cross-examine the defense witness today.
Abang in a loud tone said: “The second defendant counsel is at liberty to cross examine the defense witness now.”
He further asked the court’s registrar to call on the defense witness 1, Ike Abonyi to be cross examined by the second defendant’s counsel.