Alex Enumah in Abuja
The trial of the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, over allegations of corruption and money laundering could not go on as scheduled yesterday, due to Metuh’s health condition.
The trial was adjourned to yesterday for the first defendant to call on his witnesses lined up to testify in the case.
At the resumption of trial yesterday, Counsel to Metuh (first defendant), Emeka Etiaba (SAN), informed the court that though the witnesses were present in court, his client however, would not be able to stand trial due to the health crisis they had in their hands.
Etiaba said, he was in the early morning of yesterday informed that due to complications to Metuh’s health from the night before, he might not be able to appear in court.
He said: “I got a text from the first defendant telling me he was rushed to the hospital at 1am. I read the text this morning and responded that whatever it takes, he must be in court this morning.
“I drove in to court this morning and he was at the car park in a car. On getting there, I realised he had vomited profusely and his brother in- law, Mr. Andrew, narrated how they went to the hospital last night from their residence at Prince and Princess Estate.
“The only medical officer at the hospital announced to them that they were on strike. They met a lady who said the nurses were on strike but administered an injection and also administered drugs.”
Etiaba, went on to say that the medical officer they met at the hospital advised that Metuh be taken home for rest as the injection he was given would make him fall asleep.
According to Etiaba, Metuh had left the hospital at about 3:30am and was advised to return at 8am in the morning. He said Metuh was present in court on the advice of his counsel.
Etiaba therefore applied to the court for an adjournment on grounds that the first defendant was very ill and needed to report back to the hospital because he could not stand trial, adding that, Metuh was on prescription and was expected to take his drugs at intervals.
“The implication is that even if he is here, he will not be able to take a particular pain killer by 11am.
“I therefore plead with my lord to indulge us. This is a life threatening situation. The first defendant needs to stay alive to face his trial. This is a passionate appeal for the first defendant”, Etiaba pleaded.
In his response, prosecution counsel, Silvanus Tahir, who did not oppose the application for adjournment, however, expressed sympathy to the condition of the first defendant.
“That shows our humanity, we are all mere mortals; flesh and blood and subject to vicissitudes of life. We will for now not counter the oral affidavit of my learned friend Emeka Etiaba,” Tahir said.
Trial judge, Justice Abang who in his ruling on the application observed that there was no evidence of the state of health of the first defendant, stated that it would have been proper for the medical practitioner who had given treatment to Metuh to have been present in court or to have given statement on oath.
Abang , however, adjourned to May 24, 2016 for continuation of the trial.