The trial of former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisah Metuh, resumed on Monday without the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in court, contrary to the directive of the Appeal Court.
The Court of Appeal had on September 29 ordered the State Security Service to allow Mr. Dasuki appear in court following the signing of the subpoena requesting his appearance in court by the defence team.
The court, presided by Justice Peter Ige, ruled that the appearance of Mr. Dasuki was crucial to the fair hearing of Mr. Metuh’s case, since the former NSA featured prominently in the seven-count charge against the defendant.
Mr. Metuh is facing trial for alleged diversion of N400 million from the Office of the NSA then occupied by Mr. Dasuki.
His lawyer, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, had applied to the lower court in December 2016 to request the appearance of Mr. Dasuki as a defense witness.
That application was however refused by the judge, Okon Abang, who ruled that the former NSA was not a compellable witness in the matter.
In its decision, which set aside the previous order by the lower court, the Appeal Court ordered the continuation of Mr. Metuh’s trial and that Mr. Dasuki be allowed to appear as a defence witness.
“It is my firm view that retired Col. Dasuki whose name features prominently in most of the charges against the appellant is a competent and compellable witness,” the judge said.
The court also ruled that the failure of the security operatives to allow Mr. Dasuki appear in court would attract sanctions.
On Monday, when the matter was called in court, another defense witness was interrogated by the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir.