The Appeal Court in Abuja has on Monday, April 25, told the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, that the court would not issue an order to the Federal High Court to stay proceedings of his trial.
Metuh is currently undergoing trial for allegedly receiving N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
Metuh, through his counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, had asked the Appeal court to halt his ongoing trial at the Federal High Court, pending the determination of his other applications at the appellate court. However, Tochukwu Onwubufor, counsel to Metuh’s company, Destra Investment Limited, on Monday told the court that his client would henceforth appear independent of the first defendant (Metuh).
Onwubufor, told the court that his client had a legal prerogative to adopt a new client and had appointed a separate client for the second defendant.
Onwubufor also informed the court of his decision to adopt the brief filed by Ikpeazu.
Subsequently, Ikpeazu withdrew his earlier appearance for the first and second defendant.
The court however, overruled an argument by prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, that Onwubufor should not be allowed to adopt an application filed by another counsel.
A three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki told counsel to Metuh and his company, Destra Investment, that the Appeal court lacked power to stay proceedings at a lower court.
Aboki said it was wrong on the part of the appellant to have filed such an application before the appeal court.
He however, asked them to pursue their appeal, but bear in mind that the court would not entertain any application for stay of proceedings.
“You can pursue your appeal; but you will have to return to the lower court to make your matter heard,” said Aboki.
The judge therefore, adjourned the matter till May 5, for Sylvanus to submit his reply brief.
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