Court turns down Metuh’s application

Court turns down Metuh’s application
January 14 14:54 2016

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday turned down an application by the embattled spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, to speedily hear his suit challenging his prolonged detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Metuh has been held by the commission for over a week in connection with the alleged diversion of $2.1 billion arms procurement funds.

The EFCC is accusing him of benefitting about N400m from the funds.

The EFCC has yet to arraign him, saying Metuh refused to refund the money.

Metuh filed a motion at the court, through his counsel, Ifedayo Adetibe, on Wednesday, demanding the immediate commencement of hearings on his suit.

Adetibe told the court in his interlocutory application that the arrest and continued detention of his client were unconstitutional, saying that the EFCC had no right to arrest and detain any one, without charging the person to court.

But the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, said the matter was merely an interlocutory application, not a substantive issue and so cannot be granted an accelerated hearing.

“I so hold that in such an interlocutory application parties before a court can only be heard within the confines of the rules of court,” Mr. Abang said.

He noted that the respondent to the application, the EFCC, had five days to respond to the application, if they are not opposed to its content.

He said the request by Adetiba that the matter be heard, Thursday, could not be granted, since the respondents have five days to respond, excluding Sunday.

Mr. Abang therefore adjourned the matter till January 20.