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Olisa Metuh Court questions credibility of medical report presented by PDP spokesman

Justice Abang said that the medical report failed to indicate the period which the bed rest would last.

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, May 24, questioned the credibility of a medical report by the National Hospital, Abuja, which placed the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, on bed rest.

On why Metuh was not present at the continuation of his trial on Tuesday, his counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), told the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang that his client is on bed rest at the National Hospital, Abuja, on doctor's orders.

Ikpeazu then presented to the judge a medical report  signed by a neurosurgeon consultant at the National Hospital, Dr. O.O Olaleye, confirming that Metuh is on a bed rest at the hospital.

On this basis, the lawyer sought an adjournment of the case contending that the situation in section 352(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, in which the judge is allowed to proceed with a criminal trial without the defendant present in court, had not arisen.

The provision of the law provides that the court may proceed with a criminal trial if  a defendant already granted bail is absent from court in violation of a court order or in the absence of any good reason for the absence of the defendant.

But while acknowledging that Metuh indeed has a good reason to be absent from court, Justice Abang said that the medical report failed to indicate the period which the rest would last, which, he said, cast a shadow of doubt on its credibility.

READ: EFCC opposes Metuh's request to travel abroad

He ruled: "I have considered section 352(4) and 266(a) and (b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act cited by counsel.

“I think the first defendant has good reason to be absent from court today.

“The medical report is not really helpful to the court as to the period he will be on the bed rest.

“As an expert, the medical doctor ought to have provided the period in his medical report which the first defendant would have had an adequate and sufficient bed rest.

“I have been wondering if this omission was in good or bad faith because it is expected of a medical doctor to have stated the period of the  bed rest. It cannot be hanging in the air.”

Justice Abang however ruled that “since the medical report is not sufficient the court is enjoined to be guided by section 396(5) of ACJ act.

“In the light of this, this matter is adjourned till May 30 without fail for the continuation of the evidence-in-chief of the fifth defence witness.”

Metuh is facing a seven-count charge for alleged diversion of funds meant for the purchase of arms during the last administration.

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