Embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja not to set aside the subpoena it issued to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear as a witness in his ongoing trial.
Metuh further challenged Jonathan’s insistence that the defendant must deposit with the court, for and on behalf of himself, the sum of N1billion in line with provisions of Section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015,
before he would mount the witness box.
Jonathan had in a motion his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, moved before the court on Wednesday, urged trial Justice Okon Abang to compel Metuh to pay the N1bn to cover travelling expenses for himself and his security personnel from his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State, to Abuja and also for time that he might spend appearing before the court as President of Nigeria between 2010 to 2015.
Jonathan maintained that the evidence Metuh is seeking from him would amount to an invasion of his personal right to privacy, and family life as provided for in Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
He told the court that the evidence sought to be obtained from him was likely to expose him to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture.
The former President further argued that the subpoena ad testifiandum Justice Abang issued against him on October 23 was vague, applied for and obtained on frivolous ground and in bad faith, saying it was meant to embarrass him as a person.
Besides, Jonathan argued that Metuh was not a personal aid or his appointee and therefore could not have dealt with the President directly under any circumstance to warrant the invitation of the applicant to testify in the charge.
He said there was no nexus between hiim and Metuh and the charge for which the defendants are standing trial.
However, the ex-President said he was not doubtful of the fact that there was a contractual agreement between Metuh and the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd.
Ozehkome said: “The linchpin of this application is not that the former President is throwing doubts on transactions involving the defendants and Dasuki, but that he was not physically present when the transactions were going on, because he had many appointees.
“My lord, because of this, we are saying that he will not be a good witness to state what actually happened regarding the transactions.
“He can never be able to know details of transactions all his aides carried out within his over four years tenure in office. He is not saying that the transactions are fake or incorrect or fictitious, no! He is only saying that he does not know the details.
“Whatever evidence he will be giving based on the subpoena will amount to hearsay evidence”.