Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday said in open court that ex-spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, deliberately fell down as proceedings were about to commence on Monday.
Justice Abang stated this while correcting an impression created in the submission of a defence lawyer in the case, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), who had urged the court to adjourn the matter due to Metuh’s absence on Tuesday.
“The first defendant fell down on his own,” the judge had said.
Interrupting Onwugbufor’s submission, Justice Abang said he did not direct any doctor to see Metuh after he fell on Monday, adding that Metuh fell on his own because he decided to defy the court’s directive that he should remain where he was seated.
Lawyer to the accused, Emeka Etiaba (SAN),made an surprise appearance in court after he had said on Monday that he was withdrawing from the case. He asked the court to grant a short adjournment due to Metuh’s absence.
Onwugbufor, who represents the second defendant, Destra Investment Limited (a company owned by Metuh), supported Etiaba’s application, explaining that it was the court’s doctor that recommended that Metuh be taken to the hospital on Monday.
But Justice Abang promptly interrupted Onwugbufor, clarifying that he did not direct any doctor to see Metuh after he fell on Monday.
He said, “The court did not direct the doctor to attend to the defendant.
“I would not know the person that directed the doctor to see the defendant when I rose briefly upon hearing that the defendant fell down on his own.
“The court directed him to sit down where he was but he decided to fall down on his own.”