Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, refused to suspend trial of erstwhile National Publicity Secretray of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, to allow the detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, who was summoned to testify as a witness in the trial, to refresh his memory.
Dasuki, who mounted the witness box on Wednesday, had insisted that he could not remember whether or not he approved the payment of N400million from account the office of the NSA operated with Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to Metuh.
The money was allegedly wired electronically into an account Metuh’s firm, Destra Investment Ltd (2nd defendant), operated with Diamond Bank Plc, prior to the 2015 Presidential election. Following Dasuki’s insistence that he could not give evidence in the matter until he was allowed to consult his personal files, Metuh, through his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, begged the court for an adjournment of the trial to enable the subpoenaed witness to have access to his records.
In his ruling on Friday, Justice Abang dismissed the request which he said lacked merit. Justice Abang said he could not adjourn the trial for Dasuki to consult his personal documents that are not in evidence before the court. He said it was for Metuh’s lawyer to use his professional skill to ask Dasuki relevant questions that will elicit answers favourable to the case of his client.
The Judge said he had watched Dasuki’s demeanour in the witness box, saying he appeared “composed and relaxed”. He said Metuh’s lawyer was at liberty to ask the witness questions based on the proof evidence already before the court, stressing that Dasuki’s answers would constitute his evidence in the trial.
The court said Dasuki could elect not to answer questions posed to him as he would be cross-examined by the prosecution based on his testimony with respect to the charge against the defendants. “This application for adjournment lacks merit, same is accordingly refused”, Justice Abang held. Meanwhile, Dasuki has re-entered the witness box and is currently giving evidence in the case.