The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, again refused to open his defence at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Metuh alongside his company, Destra Investment Limited who are standing trial on charges bordering on money laundering and benefiting the sum of N400m from the fund allegedly disbursed from the office of the National Security Adviser during the last administration had on five different occasions pushed for adjournment of his case.
The slush fund, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was part of the money meant for the procurement of arms for the armed forces.
At the resumed hearing today, the prosecution led by Slyvanus Tahir informed the court on the hearing of subsisting application filed by the defendant.
Responding, the counsel to the second defence, Tochukwu Onwuibufo who is representing Destra Investment Limited, a company Metuh has stake in, asked the court for an adjournment, saying he was not prepared as he was just being brought in.
Onwuibufo said, “I have no document regarding this case as I was only briefed yesterday. The first defendant is yet to fully brief me of the case.I have not read the court proceedings to enable me prepare for my case.
“That is why the letter I addressed to the court is requesting a certified true copy of all proceedings so as to put me in a broader picture of what transpired in court to enable me represent the second defendant.
“My lord, the second defendant is not ready to proceed, we will be asking for an adjournment.”
He argued that the defendant has the right to several adjournments, a position which is at variance with the court’s earlier ruling that the defendant is no longer entitled to an adjournment after his case was deferred five times.
Quoting Sec 36(6), Onwuibufo said, ” The defendant is entitled to several adjournments, thereby I asked the court to adjourn the matter to allow me prepare well.”
Tahir in his reaction confirmed a letter was served on the persecution before the court sat.
On the application for an adjournment that a new counsel has being brought in to take over, Tahir said, “Sec 349(A) of the Criminal Justice Act stated how a counsel in a matter should conduct its case and the procedure for disengagement,
“No notice of disengagement has been served by the consultium of five Senior Advocate, namely Onyechi Ikpeazu, Adedipe, Emeka Etiaba,Chris Uche and Gordy Uche.”
Tahir, therefore, urged the court to discountenance the appeal for an adjournment and order any available counsel to conduct the “business of the day.”