Metuh Bemoans His 29-month Travail

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Says he didn’t jump bail

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja


Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has lamented his ordeal since being arrested and charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption.
Metuh said he has gone through a lot of challenges and subjected to relentless trauma in the process of trying to prove his innocence.

In a statement issued by Metuh’s Personal Assistant, Ishaya Maji, the ex-PDP spokesman denied ever jumping bail or feigning ill health to evade court proceedings.
“For the records, it is not true that Metuh jumped bail. It is also not true that he did not provide any reasonable explanation for his absence in court. It is equally untrue that his counsel, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), did not provide any reasonable explanation for his absence.
“The truth of the matter is that the next day after Metuh’s fall, Etiaba duly informed the court in open session that the medical team of the Federal High Court had taken him to the National Hospital for admission. It is pertinent to note that the court permitted the medical team to take him to hospital,” he said.
Maji said the explanation of Metuh’s whereabouts was further reinforced by a letter from the National Hospital duly annexed as exhibit in an affidavit of facts by his brother and duly filed before the court ruling last Wednesday morning.

On the issue of absence of counsel last Friday, Metuh’s aide said his counsel had duly filed and registered an affidavit of facts on May 23 informing the court that he was bereaved and would not be in court on May 25, 2015, as he was billed to travelling to Nnewi, Anambra State.
According to him, “This affidavit was also served on the prosecutor in the matter. How can Metuh be accused of feigning an illness he has been managing at the National Hospital in Abuja for the past 14 years? How can he be accused of disobeying an order of the court when the judge’s directive to the registrar to inform him to sit down came only when he saw him struggling with the walker to negotiate into the dock?
“How can he be accused of deliberately staging the fall when he knows the severe consequences of such to his health? How can he be accused of turning the court into an accident scene because medical doctors from the court were attending to him?”

Maji noted that Metuh had filed a motion for Justice Abang to recuse himself from the trial on account of the frosty relationship they had right from their call to bar in 1988 to their last encounter at the Le Meridian Hotel, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State.
However the judge blatantly denied knowing him, “a lie unbecoming of a judicial officer, whilst he ruled against his motion even when he had cited evidence of dates and places.
“Metuh has indeed endured a lot of obvious hostility and manifest interference with the prosecution in his case but has endured it all as a believer in the rule of law and ultimately in the belief that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man in a true democracy.

“Despite the well-funded, syndicated and orchestrated personal fight against him as reference point for fight against the PDP, Metuh’s spirit remains high as he knows he is completely innocent of these charges.
“The concept of true justice cannot begin to change as justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done,” Maji said.