By Emmanuel Aziken
Abuja—Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, has urged Nigerians to avoid subjecting his issues with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to a media trial.
Metuh, in a statement issued in Abuja dismissed claims by Chief Robert Clarke, SAN in a national newspaper at the weekend that he, Metuh, was a channel for the siphoning of billions of naira from the federal treasury.
In the statement issued on his behalf by his special assistant, Mr. Richard Ihedinwa, Metuh said: “We are at a loss as to the intentions of a respected lawyer of Chief Clarke’s age, standing and experience at the bar, to engage in media trials and making unsubstantiated assertions when he is fully aware of the harm associated with such distortions in a case as this, especially after the Chief Justice of the Federation has cautioned against such. This is more so as Chief Clarke, SAN is equally engaged as defence counsel in other high profile criminal trials.
“Spurious publications such as Chief Clarke’s make Chief Metuh’s case seem terrible, and while other defendant’s in similar cases are allowed to attend medical appointments overseas, Chief Metuh’s applications are turned down, production of vital witnesses denied and deliberately set up to the public as having been convicted already.
“Chief Metuh had had cause to report such orchestrated media trials and misrepresentations including those by the EFCC to the court and for which the court issued stern reprimands.”
Apart from distortion of court proceedings, there has been bandying of figures and several false reports including claims that he chewed his statement while in the custody of the EFCC, only for EFCC witness to deny same in court.
“Finally, while we expect Chief Clarke SAN to retract his statement and desist from such in the future, it is also instructive to note that whereas Chief Metuh is at liberty to use legitimate means available within the law to address such, he has maintained his comportment in pursing his case, despite his manifest ill-health, believing strongly that justice will prevail in the end.”