Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court on MondayÂ dismissed an application by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, seeking to stop his trial pending the determination of his appeal of no case submission at the Supreme Court.
Metuh is standing trial on an alleged N400million fraud received from the office of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The court also dismissed another application filed by Metuhâ€™s company, Destra Investment Limited, the second defendant, which through its counsel, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), asked the court to release Metuhâ€™s passport to enable him (Metuh) travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment for a period of five weeks.
Justice Okon Abang, in rejecting Metuhâ€™s request to travel abroad for medical attention, held that he lacked jurisdiction to reopen the issue having heard parties and delivered a considered ruling on it on May 25, 2016 that refused the request.
Delivering ruling on both application yesterday, Abang said the applicant motion for a stay of proceeding was dismissed in line with the June 9, 2017, decision of the Supreme Court.
The trial was put on hold last March to await the decision of the apex court which last week said: â€œBy virtue of section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 this court has no power to stay proceedings in a criminal trial.
â€œThe coast is now clear for the resumption of the trial that was suspended to abide the outcome of the application dated March 17, 2017. The application has been dismissed.
â€œIn the light of this, the matter is adjourned until 1p.m. on June 20, 2017, for further hearing of the first defendantâ€™s case.â€
Metuh who is insisting that Dasuki should testify as his witness might apply to the court for Dasuki to be subpoenaed. Dasuki is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited on seven count charge for fraud and money laundering charges involving the sums of $2million and N400million which they received unjustifiably from the Office of the NSA in 2014 to fund the PDP 2015 presidential campaign.