By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, questioned the ill-health claimed by the former National Publicity Secretary of the People Democratic Party (PDP) Olisah Metuh.
Metuh had for the third time, approached the court praying it to releases his international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment.
The Defendant is been prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving the sum of N400million from the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki(rtd).
Delivering ruling on the embattled Metuh’s application the judge said, “I am wondering, if the defendant is really sick as he claims, why did he not appeal the two earlier decisions of the court that refused to release his international passport.
“I doubt that he is really ill as he wants the court to believe, if he is, he should have appealed the decisions of the court at the Court of Appeal.”
In the ruling, Justice Abang expressed doubt on the Ill health claim by wondering why the defendant had appealed other decisions court that had nothing to do with his health but refused to appeal those that dealt directly with his health.
Consequently, he held that it seemed that the defendant’s motive is to present the court as inhuman by filing the same application before the trial court a third time rather than going on appeal.
The trial judge held that he agreed with the arguments of the prosecution that filing the application for a third time was an unpardonable and reckless abuse of judicial processes.
He stressed that the former PDP’s secretary should have known that, where a trial court decided a matter, it could not be brought before it again under any guise.
Going further in his ruling, the Judge held that the defendant has taken several steps to frustrate the trial by not entering defence since the prosecution claimed its case.
He, however maintained that he could not sit on appeal over his own judgment having already refused an application for the release of Metuh’s passport twice.
He added that contrary to the claim by Metuh’s counsel, Mr Onyeachi Ikpeazu, (SAN), there were no new facts in the current application as the facts in it were the same as those in the last two applications.
“The issues raised in this application have already been determined in the two previous rulings on the matter; there is nothing new in this application.”
He held that having decided on the matter before it, he lacked jurisdiction to entertain it again and could not order the release of his passport.
Consequently, he dismissed the application for lacking in merit.