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Judge’s absence stalls Metuh’s trial

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—The absence of the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, yesterday, stalled the trial of the embattled  National  Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, over his alleged destruction of incriminating evidence against him.

Metuh is facing a two-count charge preferred against him by the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The charge is separate from another seven-count charge the anti-graft agency filed against the PDP spokesman before a Federal High Court in Abuja following his alleged complicity in a N400 million fraud.

Meanwhile, Metuh,  who was earlier granted bail by Justice Bello to the tune of N300 million with two sureties in like sum, yesterday, refuted reports that he was not in court to face his trial.

A statement by his Special Assistant, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, read: “Our attention has been drawn to a report being circulated by a section of the media suggesting that the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Metuh, was absent at the scheduled resumption of his trial before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory today, (yesterday) April 18, 2016.

“This is false and quite erroneous as Chief Metuh was in court as can be testified to by the court registrar and the prosecutor. The fact is that the court did not sit wherein the case was duly adjourned and a new date was fixed accordingly. We, therefore, do not understand the basis of this false report.

“While we understand the excitement of a section of the media over the trial, we plead that reports should be cross-checked and balanced in the interest of fairness, and in line with the ethics of the profession.”



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