‘PDP spokesperson trying to stop trial with fake claims,’ EFCC alleges

The EFCC also accused Metuh of attempting to blackmail his trial judge, Justice Okon Abang in order to get him disqualified from the case.

Olisa Metuh appears in an Abuja court in handcuffs on January 25, 2016

The EFCC also accused Metuh of attempting to blackmail his trial judge, Justice Okon Abang in order to get him disqualified from the case.

The agency’s claims were contained in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one Francis Jirbo, Vanguard reports.

It reads:

“All manner of allegations, as stated by the defendants, were cooked up by them just to justify frustrating the stalling of proceedings.”

“We submit that the antics and gimmicks deployed by the defendants are nothing but mere afterthought and pure blackmail aimed at intimidating the court to drop the case in the guise or pretext of bias by the judge.”

“The allegations of bias levelled by the defendants against the court relate merely to the exercise of judicial powers by the court, without any evidence of facts or circumstances that suggest that the court did, in fact, favour one side unfairly.”

“In the circumstances of this case, even if the judex and the 1st defendant (Metuh) were classmates, one would have thought that relationship would have given more concern to the prosecution than the defence for obvious reasons.”

“The prosecution would have been the one to entertain fear that the court may favour its classmate. The 1st defendant suddenly woke up when it is time to open his defence to remember an alleged ‘frosty relationship’ that had existed over the years.”

“This is blackmail of unprecedented proportion, which cannot be a ground to disqualify his lordship (the judge). Other tendentious and mundane allegations of bias remain unsubstantiated and unproven.”

“Even the normal practice of a litigant (either in civil or criminal cases) standing either in the dock or witness box until his counsel draws the attention of the judex, with an oral request for the litigant to sit down, which is acceded to by the court, has become an issue of bias.”

“Another germane issue on the allegation of bias is that the test of real likelihood of bias is that of a reasonable man, not that of a man, who has made up his mind to pull down the institution of justice in a desperate bid to undermine the judicial process and get off the hook by all means.

Meanwhile, Justice Abang has denied allegations of bias raised against him by Metuh.

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