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Metuh’s trial: Jonathan Demands N1bn To Serve Witness

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the federal high court sitting in Abuja to quash the subpoena ordering him to appear as a witness in the ongoing trial of Olisa Metuh.

Okon Abang, the judge handling the case, had insisted that Jonathan must testify in the trial of Metuh, a former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Metuh, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering, had requested that Jonathan and Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, appear as witnesses.

Both Jonathan and Dasuki were absent at the last sitting, prompting the judge to give the bailiff five days to serve them the summons to appear in the next sitting.

But at the resumed sitting on Monday, the former president asked the court to set aside the subpoena on the ground that he knows nothing about the charges brought against Metuh.

Were his prayer not granted, he sought an order for the court to direct Metuh to pay him the sum of N1 billion as travelling expenses for himself and his security personnel from Otuoke, his hometown in Bayelsa, to Abuja.

The money, according to the former President, is also to cover his travelling expenses, security, and logistics.

In a motion filed by Mike Ozekhome, his counsel, Jonathan based his prayers on the ground that his appearance in court would amount to an invasion of his privacy, and family life.

An affidavit filed in support of the motion reads: “That he (Jonathan) as the then president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2010-2015), appointed ministers and different persons to carry out the day-to-day running of the government activities and such appointees are those who directly related with the president and not third parties, such as the 2nd respondent.

“That it is such appointees that can explain daily government’s transactions which they directly supervised and not the president who was the overall boss.

“That the 2nd respondent, Olisa Metuh, was never at any time a personal aide or appointee of the applicant.

“That he (Jonathan) knows nothing about the seven charges for which the 1st defendant/ 2nd respondent is standing trial before this court and has absolutely nothing to testify about before this court.

“The he, as a former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the event that this honourable court refuses prayer one on the motion paper, shall require the sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (one billion naira) only, to cover travelling expenses for himself and his security personnel, from his home town Otuoke, in Bayelsa state, to Abuja, and also for logistics, and provision of tight security to cover any period of time that he might spend appearing before this court as President of Nigeria between 2010 and 2015.

“That Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, the lead counsel in this matter, informed me under the same circumstances stated in paragraph 4 above, and I verily believe him, that by virtue of the provisions of section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the applicant is not bound to attend to court except the 2nd respondent herein (Olisa Metuh), who applied for the issuance of subpoena ad testificandum on him, pays for his travelling expenses.”

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