New twist in Metuh’s trial as company sacks lawyer

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– The trial of PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh continued today, April 8

– At the resumed hearing, a new lawyer was announced for Destra Investment Limited, Metuh’s company

– The new lawyer, Tochukwu Onwubufor will be taking over from Onyechi Ikpeazu, Metuh’s lead counsel

The trial of the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh took a different turn today, April 8, when a new lawyer announced appearance for the second defendant, Destra Investment Limited.

At the resumed trial, Emeka Etiaba holding brief for Onyechi Ikpeazu, Olisa Metuh’s lead counsel announced to the court that his team is withdrawing appearance for the second defendant, Destra Investment Limited.

Metuh in court today, Thursday, February 4

File photo: Metuh in court for his trial on February 4

Following this, Tochukwu Onwubufor, a senior advocate of Nigeria said he was appearing for the second defendant.

Onwubufor said he brought a letter before the court to announce his first appearance but the letter was rejected by the prosecution counsel and the court registrar.


When asked if he was ready for argument today, April 8, Onwubufor said no.

My lord in the first place, I have not been served of any of the processes neither have I been responded yesterday,” Onwubufor said.

He also said he does not have any document relating to the case before the court.

I have not received detailed briefings from the second defendant about his position in the matter. I have not received previous proceedings of the matter that has transpired to enable me file my case adequately.

“The issue with this letter is that I was just briefed late yesterday and was only able to bring it to court this morning,” he said.

Citing Section 36 (6) a, b and c of the 1999 Constitution as amended, he further urged that the matter be adjourned to give him time to prepare for the matter.

Onwubufor said: “Therefore my lord, the second defendant is not ready to proceed with the matter.”


He also said that it is immaterial that another counsel has been appearing for his client.

The constitution allows for an accused person to choose his counsel at anytime within the trial or proceedings.

He said the counsel is also expected to enjoy all the right allowed by Section 36 of the Constitution.

But Sylvanus Tahir, counsel for the prosecution – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a reply said he was approached by Onwubufor with a letter.

This morning my lord, the counsel approached me with a letter which content I just got to know now,” he said.

Tahir said an application seeking for an adjournment on the grounds that a new counsel had been made to take over from the previous counsel was improper.

He said section 349 subsection 7 and 8 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act stipulates procedures for disengagement of a counsel on a brief, adding that the act allows for a notice of not less than three days should be given for disengagement of a counsel.


Tahir said: “There was no notice of disengagement from either or any of them on the team.”

He also said that the first defendant is an entity of the second defendant and the counsel on record – Ikpeazu’s team – is bound by the act to continue with the case.

But Etiaba said it will be unprofessional and unethical for him to announce appearance for an unwilling client as demanded by the prosecution.

He further prayed the court to grant the application made by Onwubufor on representing the second defendant.

The post New twist in Metuh’s trial as company sacks lawyer appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

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