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19 Jun 2017

Dasukigate: Justice Abang dismisses Metuh’s application for stay of proceedings, release of passports

A judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Okon Abang has dismissed the the application of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party for stay of proceedings in obedience to the June 9, 2017 ruling of the Supreme Court.
The judge in another verdict, dismissed another application seeking the release of Metuh’s passport which is in the court’s custody.

The trial had been put on hold for six months due to interlocutory applications by the defence since December 16, 2016, when Metuh called his sixth witness.

However, on the resumption of trial on Tuesday, Justice Abang ruled, “The coast is now clear for the resumption of the trial that was suspended to abide the outcome of the application dated March 17, 2017. The application has been dismissed.

“In the light of this, the matter is adjourned until 1 pm on June 20, 2017, for further hearing of the first defendant’s case.”

In his first ruling delivered Monday, Justice Abang dismissed an application by Metuh seeking an order of stay of proceedings in the trial.

“In my view, the application for an adjournment of further trial to abide the occurrence of an event in future is seeking to stay proceedings,” Justice Abang ruled.

Dismissing the application in line with the June 9, 2017,decision of the Supreme Court, Justice Abang ruled, “By virtue of section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 this court has no power to stay proceedings in a criminal trial.”

In the second ruling, Justice Abang also quashed an application filed by counsel for Destra Investment Limited’s lawyer, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), praying the court to release Metuh’s passport to enable him (Metuh) to travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment for a period of five weeks.

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