Goodluck Jonathan Ex-President fails to appear as witness in Metuh's fraud trial

The reason for the former president's absence is unknown.

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan failed to appear before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday to stand as a defence witness in the money laundering trial involving former National Publicity Secretary of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh.

On Monday, October 23, 2017, Justice Abang signed a draft of a subpoena requiring the former president to appear before the court on Wednesday after Metuh's counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), told the court that the former president had refused to reply a request letter.

Dr. Ikpeazu had told the court, "The other witness we want to subpoena is Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"We wrote him a letter but he did not respond and our plan will be to apply for the subpoena after the first application (for subpoena to be issued on Dasuki)."

The court was informed that the former president didn't appear because an attempt by the court bailiff to serve him personally with the witness summon at his home in Abuja had failed. Justice Abang noted that the bailiff's singular attempt was insufficient.

He went further to say that if the service of the subpoena has not been successful after five days, Metuh should initiate the process of serving it through substituted means.

The former president is not the only high profile individual to have turned down an invitation by the court to appear as a witness.

ALSO READ: Metuh wants Goodluck Jonathan as witness in fraud case

Despite the ruling of the Court of Appeal that ordered for the appearance of detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as a witness in the trial, the Department of State Service (DSS) failed to produce him on Monday.

Dasuki's counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), appeared before Justice Abang on Monday to oppose the request to compel his client to testify as Metuh's defence witness.

During Wednesday's hearing, Justice Abang dismissed Dasuki's application on the premise that granting it would amount to breach of the Court of Appeal's order which his court cannot review.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on a seven-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering.

The alleged offence involved $2 million and N400 million which the defendants allegedly received from Dasuki's office in 2014.

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