Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja will on Thursday rule on whether or not to compel the detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), to appear in court as witness in defence of the ex-National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh.
The court will also rule on Thursday on a separate application by Metuh requesting the release of his passport from the custody of the court to enable him to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Justice Okon Abang fixed Thursday to deliver both rulings after Metuh’s lead counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), moved both applications on Wednesday.
While the prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, opposed the application seeking the release of Metuh’s passport, it did not oppose the request to call Dasuki as a defence witness.
The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering involving alleged cash transaction of $2m and fraudulent receipt of N400m meant for the procurement of arms from the NSA Office on November 22, 2014.
The prosecution alleged in the charges that Metuh and his firm used the N400m for PDP’s campaign activities.
The sum of N400m was alleged to be “part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity” of the immediate past NSA, Dasuki.
Metuh had already called five witnesses but said he could not continue with his defence without Dasuki.
Ikpeazu insisted while arguing his client’s application on Wednesday that the evidence of the rest of the witnesses the defence intended to call would be founded on Dasuki’s testimony.
He said, “The reason why we filed the application was that the foundation of the remaining witnesses, including the first defendant (Metuh) if the need arises, is the evidence of the person of Col. Mohmmed Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
“It is on record that the document before my lord was categorical that he (Dasuki) complied with all due process in the matter of the release of the sum of N400m.
“Yet, my lord, the contention of the prosecution in counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and perhaps 7 is that this was an unlawful act.
“We did not go into the ONSA to collect the money with a gun. Somebody made available the money.”
Responding to the judge’s inquiry on whether the defence had made efforts to apply to the Department of State Services for the production of Dasuki in court, Ikpeazu said that was not necessary.
He said the defence had earlier applied for a subpoena to compel Dasuki to appear in court, but that the subpoena was not executed by the Federal High Court.
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