The Federal High Court, Abuja, will on Nov. 1 rule on whether or not to stay proceedings in a matter between the Federal Government and Olisah Metuh, pending the outcome of an appeal on the matter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Sambo Dasuki, a party in the matter, asked the court to stay further proceedings pending the determination of his appeal.
The court would also rule on whether or not to stay execution on a subpoena order issued against Dasuki to compel him to appear in court to testify in the matter.
Counsel to Dasuki, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), told the court on Tuesday that his client, on Oct. 30. filed a motion on notice, praying the court to adjourn further proceedings relating to the subpoena order issued on Dasuki.
According to Raji, further proceedings should be adjourned pending the determination of an application filed in the Court of Appeal, seeking a stay of execution of the subpoena.
Raji also informed the court that his client also filed a motion asking for accelerated hearing of the appeal and asked the Court of Appeal to give a date to hear the appeal.
Similarly, counsel to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN) informed the court that his client had filed an application asking the court to set aside an order of subpoena issued on him.
Ozekhome said that the subpoena issued on his client on Oct. 23 was to compel his client to appear in court and give evidence in the ongoing trial of Metuh.
Ozekhome, however, said that in the alternative, the court should direct Metuh to deposit N1 billion to cover his client’s traveling expenses from his home town, Otueke to Abuja to attend court.
“Metuh, should in line with Section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) deposit the sum of N1 billion with the court to cover the traveling expenses of my client.
“This is to take care of him and his security operatives and other logistics involved in ensuring that my client appears before the court as President of Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.”
He further urged the court to rule on his application before entertaining further processes in the matter as stipulated by relevant authorities.
Counsel to Metuh, Mr Emeka Etiaba had in his submission, prayed the court to discountenance the submission of the prosecuting counsel, Mr Sylvanus Tahir that Dasuki had refused to appear in court.
Etiaba noted that the submission of the prosecution should have been accompanied by an affidavit and not a mere oral submission.
Tahir had earlier told the court that the Department of State Services (DSS) had made concerted efforts to bring Dasuki to court, but the former NSA had refused to appear in court.
“I am in touch with the Legal Director of the DSS and he just sent me a text message saying, subject is still adamant and blatantly refuses to be brought to court except by force.
“But after much exchange, he agreed to appear in court on the subsequent adjourned date, so you may wish to take a date sometime this week.”
Justice Okon Abang in his ruling, said that all the applications filed by the parties would be entertained on Nov. 1.
According to Abang, “from what is before me, I cannot conclude that the DSS flaunted the orders of the court, the issue of Dasuki will be handled administratively.’’
He said the court would first rule on the application of Dasuki on whether or not to stay proceedings on the matter.
He said that should Dasuki’s application succeed, further proceedings in the matter would be adjourned.
He, however, said that if the application failed, the court would deliver ruling on the application filed by the former president.
NAN reports that Metuh who is standing trial for receiving N400 million from Dasuki had asked the court to issue a subpoena on Dasuki and Jonathan, compelling them to appear in court to give evidence.