THE trial of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, took a dramatic turn yesterday as his team of lawyers asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to allow them to withdraw from the case.
Besides, Metuh’s lawyers, who were all absent at the resumed proceeding on the matter yesterday, said they would be occupied with election petition cases and would no longer be able to attend the day to day trial that was ordered by the court.
In a supporting affidavit that was deposed to by Metuh’s lead counsel, Ikpeazu, SAN, he told the court that he received crank calls by persons that threatened to kill him because of the way he “mishandled” the case.
“I have received numerous threats to my life from diverse sources through telephone calls with disguised numbers, giving ultimatum and threatening to kill me based on the manner they claimed I had been mishandling the case,” he averred.
Ikpeazu further told the court that his next in command, Etiaba, SAN, also informed him that “he had received similar threats and thus would no longer proceed with the representation of the 1st defendant.”
He contended that “in the circumstance, it is impossible to avail the 1st defendant the legal representation he deserves in this case” and therefore asked that the court grant the application to enable them withdraw from the trial.
Meanwhile, owing to the development, trial Justice Okon Abang sought Metuh’s opinion on what he would want the court to do in the circumstance.
Responding from the dock, Metuh told the court that he met with his lawyers on Monday evening, saying they took turns and recounted how they were traumatized by experiences they have had in the hands of the Federal Government since the trial started. He prayed the court for an adjournment to enable his lawyers to move their application.
Consequently, Justice Abang adjourned the matter till March 13.