March 2, 2017
Our attention has been drawn to certain public misconception on issues regarding the application by our client Chief Olisa Metuh requesting the Hon Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja to issue an order compelling the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to produce former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to appear before the court to give evidence in his on-going trial.
The prosecution’s case is that our client reasonably ought to have known that the ₦400,000,000.00 million paid into his account is part of the proceeds of alleged unlawful activity of Col. Sambo Dasuki.
By the tenor of the charge, our client has not been charged with stealing or corrupt enrichment knowingly but for receiving payment, which came from an alleged unlawful activity of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). It is the case of the defence from the onset that they need the evidence of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to establish their innocence.
Sometime in November 2016, the learned trial Judge on the prompting of the prosecutor, requested for list of the defendant’s remaining witnesses. On Wednesday, 23rd day of November, the defence submitted a list of six names, four of which bore names while two other witnesses were to be on subpoena.
On December 2, 2016 (seven working days from the November 23, 2016), our client informed the court that Col. Dasuki was one of the witnesses to be subpoenaed. On the same date he applied to the court to issue a subpoena ordering the DSS to release Col. Dasuki to appear as his next witness.
It is on record that on two occasions in December 2016 (and in the open court), the 1st Defendant’s Counsel (Mr Emeka Etiaba SAN) reminded the trial judge to sign the pending subpoena to enable Col. Dasuki appear on the day for the continuation of trial. Instead of issuing the subpoena as vested on him by the law, the trial judge asked the defendant to speak with the prosecution Counsel as the prosecution represented the state in whose custody Dasuki is. He directed that the defence should approach the court for further action if the effort to get Col. Dasuki through the prosecution fails.
At the end of proceedings on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, the defence Counsel again reminded the court of the pending subpoena and told the court that the prosecution Counsel had not been forthcoming on the directive of the court, a position which was collaborated by the prosecution counsel who informed the court that such was not part of his duty in the court.
Having failed to sign the subpoena which has been pending for over two months, the 1st Defendant’s Counsel out of abundance of caution, filed the extant motion. This was the Application the learned trial judge dismissed on reason bordering on the Application having been contrived to waste time and for being an after-thought even when the facts supporting the Application suggest otherwise.
We hope that this puts the record straight.
Barr. Ben-Chuks Nwosu
Member, Chief Olisa Metuh’s Legal Team