Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, where the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democtratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh is being tried, has denied knowing him.
Metuh, who is being tried alongside his company, Destra Investments Limited on a seven-count charge bordering on money laundering, had petitioned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign the case to another judge on the allegation that the judge was biased against him because they were acquaintances.
Metuh through his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), said that he attended the same law school class of 1988 with Justice Abang and another event in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, late last year where the judge made it clear that he did not like him.
However, the judge in a letter to the Chief Judge denied knowing Metuh, stating that the law school class of 1987/1988 had more than 1,000 students, all of whom he could not possibly know.
In the same vein, the judge categorically denied attended any event at the Le’Meridien Hotel in Uyo at the time Metuh said the said meeting occurred.
He also asserted that, even if he did know Metuh, it would not change the facts of the case or the relevant laws.
Justice Abang said: “With respect to the first issue that the petitioner, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), stated that the 1st defendant in Charge FHC/ABJ/CR/05/2016 was my classmate in the Nigerian Law School, my Lord, for the records, I was at the Law School in 1987/88 academic session.
“I am not aware that Olisa Metuh was my classmate in the Nigerian Law School. I cannot recall seeing him in the time session in my time. In the Law School, we were over 1,000 students and we had then two sessions, morning that I attended.
“He is not from my place, Oron, in Akwa Ibom State. I did not see him as a student at the University of Calabar that I attended between September 1983 and June 1987. I have never met him in practice anywhere in the country before I was elevated to the bench in June 2009.
“Again, he claimed he met me at Le’ Meriden, Uyo, late last year. I was not at Le’ Meriden, Uyo, late last year. I had no function that I attended at the Le’ Meriden, Uyo, late last year. I did not meet him at Le’ Meriden Uyo late last year. If the records show that he is a lawyer and was called to the Nigerian Bar on November 3, 1988, which record I am yet to see, that cannot affect the facts and the law.
“I attended recently my class reunion meeting in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu, I did not see Olisa Metuh in the places I mentioned. I am not related to Olisa Metuh in any way, I do not know where he comes from.”
Metuh and his firm are being prosecuted on the charges involving a $2 million cash transaction and a suspicious payment of N400 million obtained from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in November 2014.
Since the case commenced on January 15, 2016, it has been adjourned three times due to Metuh’s failure to call his witnesses.