A former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has said that he changed his counsel due to their incessant intimidation and harassment on account of his case with the federal government.
Metuh is currently being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N40 million fraud.
In a statement made available to THISDAY Wednesday, he said he needed to clear the air due to numerous enquiries and reports on the change of his counsel.
He said despite being under immense intimidation, his counsel have held steadfast on his innocence and have gone to considerable personal cost in the conduct of the case.
He said: “However, in the last few weeks, it has come to my notice that their lives and personal freedom have been under severe threats which informed their application to the court to withdraw from the case.
“Secondly because of the day-to-day trial ordered by the court, it became difficult for them to give my case the time and full energy it deserves given their diaries and involvement in other cases, including election matters.
“It is public knowledge that in the course of this trial, I have restricted the travails to myself only as I do not wish any other person to be part of the humiliation, tribulation (including health challenge) and persecution that I have suffered over time.
“I therefore came to the conclusion that instead of allowing the issue of their withdrawal to be at the discretion of the court, it was better in the circumstance, to free them from the harrowing challenges they have been facing on account of the conduct of this case,” he explained.
Metuh said the counsels were however still representing him in other matters in other courts, adding that, “as my estimation, respect and value for them have increased now, more than ever before.”
“More importantly, there has been a smooth transition as I have been mindful of any undue delay in the change of counsel, even with the difficulty and near impossibility of getting a senior counsel in Nigeria, who will endure the threats and pressures from official quarters as well as abandon election petitions in this season,” he said.