Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja is absolving himself of any bias in the trial of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh. This follows a petition written to Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta by one of Metuh’s lawyers, Emeka Etiaba requesting for transfer of the case to another judge.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on seven- count charge bordering on fraudulent receipt of 400 million naira from the office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014. After dismissing his no case submission for lack of merit, the court fixed March 17 for Metuh to open his defence. But when the case was called, a member of Metuh’s legal team, Ifedayo Adedipe applied for an adjournment on the grounds that their leader, Onyechi Ikpeazu could not make it to court because of health challenges.
The prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir however objected insisting that the defendant has many lawyers and that any of them can comfortably represent their client in the absence of the lead counsel. But the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang instead of ruling on the application for adjournment brought to the attention of the counsels a petition he said was written against him by a member of Defence counsel.
Justice Abang who did not hide his anger maintained that he would not be intimidated insisting that his conscience is clear and that he is carrying out the trial based on fact and law.