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How Metuh collapsed in court

ABUJA – Embattled former spokesman for the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Monday, collapsed at the Federal High Court in Abuja while on his way to the dock for continuation of his trial.
Metuh was defending a seven-count charge brought against him and his firm, Destra Investment Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He collapsed shortly after his case was called-up for hearing and remained motionless on the floor, a development which caused panic in the courtroom, as one of the registrars quickly ran out to look for medical personnel to attend to him.
Trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang , thereafter asked officials of the court to explain for his records, what actually transpired before Metuh who walked with the aid of a stick, crashed.
The three officials, Doyin Olawole, Omoju James and Dorcas Danjuma, narrated that Metuh who was heading to the dock, suddenly landed on the floor while his aide was attempting to draw his attention to directive by the court that he should remain where he was initially seated.
Meantime, in the midst of the narrations, a Doctor from the Medical Unit of the Court came and examined Metuh’s condition, even as he notified the trial Judge that there was need for the defendant to be rushed to a hospital for further examination.
However, Justice Abang said he would proceed with the trial despite the condition of the defendant. The judge wondered why the Doctor who was not in the courtroom when Metuh fell down would request that the defendant be taken to hospital. Irked by the decision of the Judge, Metuh’s team of lawyers led by Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, announced their resolve to pull out of the case should the court decline to adjourn to enable the defendant to seek medical help.
Etiaba said he could not continue with the matter with his client lying lifeless on the floor with no attempt to resuscitate him since the court was in session. Metuh’s lawyer, Etiaba, SAN, while announcing his withdrawal, said his client was obviously ill as confirmed by medical personnel of the high court.
Etiaba decried that though Justice Abang refused to put him on record, he said the whole world was watching. Not perturbed by Etiaba’s submissions and withdrawal, Justice Abang ordered the defendant to produce his eleventh witness. EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, however told the court that he was not opposed to the request for adjournment since the Doctor confirmed Metuh’s condition. Tahir’s position infuriated the trial Judge who threatened to strike out the charge against Metuh. “The Federal High Court has nothing against the 1st defendant. It is the duty of the prosecution to prosecute its case. “If the prosecution does not want to proceed with the trial, the court will strike out the case” Justice Abang fumed. He queried why the prosecution failed to oppose the adjournment request after seeing what happened, and how a Medical Doctor who was not present in court when Metuh fell down, suggested that the matter be suspended for the defendant to be taken to the hospital.

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