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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Metuh: Again, court’s attempt to serve Jonathan summons fails

Metuh: Again, court’s attempt to serve Jonathan summons fails

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

The N400m fraud case involving a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, will resume on Monday (tomorrow) at a Federal High Court in Abuja, without former President Goodluck Jonathan in attendance.

Our correspondent learnt on Saturday that the bailiff from the court had made futile attempts to serve Jonathan with the subpoena summoning him to testify in the case.

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Our correspondent learnt from court sources that the latest failed attempts were made by the bailiff on December 18 and 19, 2017.

The bailiff was said to have deposed to an affidavit of “non-service” and filed before the court last week, disclosing that he visited Jonathan’s house in Abuja on December 18 but was asked to return the following day to meet the person in charge of such issues concerning the former president.

It was however learnt that the bailiff, on his return to the house in Maitama, Abuja on Decemeber 19, was informed by the said Jonathan’s aide that the ex-President had traveled out of the Federal Capital Territory for “Christmas and New Year vacation”.

With the failed attempt to serve Jonathan with the witness summons, the former President may not likely appear to testify in court with respect to trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had alleged in some of the seven counts preferred against Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, that he fraudulently received N400m from Office of the National Security Adviser without any justification and spent the funds on the party and personal affairs.

Metuh was also accused of transacting with $2m cash said to be above the threshold of cash payments prescribed by the Money Laundering Act.

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Metuh had insisted that both the then NSA, Sambo Dasuki, who released the said N400m and Jonathan, who allegedly authorised the payment, were required to testify in the case.

He had asked the court to issue summons to be served on Dasuki, but the trial judge, Okon Abang, initially declined to grant the request until he was compelled to do so by the Court of Appeal.

The summons served on Dasuki had been successfully executed, following which the ex-NSA had testified in the case.

The defence subsequently applied for another summons to be served on Jonathan, a request which the judge promplty granted.

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