I Need Medical Treatment Abroad - Metuh

A former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to order the release of his global passport to enable him travel overseas for medical treatment.

The former PDP spokesman, who arrived court on a wheel chair, in his application moved by his counsel, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) prayed the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang to grant him leave to travel overseas on health grounds.

EFCC alleged that he had before the 2015 Presidential election, received N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, without executing any contract.

The anti-graft agency said the fund was electronically wired from an account ONSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Metuh, via account No. 0040437573, which his firm operated with Diamond Bank Plc.

Metuh, who is facing a seven-count charge before the court had earlier been granted a N400m bail by the court. The sureties, the court held must have properties in Maitama district of Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this is the third time Metuh is asking the court to release his global passport for him to seek medical attention overseas.

The judge had also earlier raised the question as to whether the court as constituted had the power to hear the application seeking the release of Metuh's worldwide passport.

He said: "It is instructive to note that the facts now are different from the facts relied on in the previous application".

He tendered as an exhibit, a letter from one Dr. Adrian T.H. Kasey, a Neurosurgeon at Wellington Hospital in London, which he said emphasized the need for Metuh to be treated urgently.

According to Etiaba, the surgery on Metuh will take about ten days and requires five weeks to heal, and added that, "Even when a defendant, in a trial as this, is due for a routine medical check up, that ordinarily will grant an application such as this, but we have gone beyond that to show why the court should grant the application".

He said the granting of the application by the court will speed up the trial as Metuh will have no reason to be absent from court for his trial.

According to Etiaba, the exercise of discretion is always based on the material made available to the court and the rulings on the last two applications were based on material made available to the court at that time.

The prosecutor noted that there was also no medical report from a foreign doctor attached to the application.

Tahir said: "The latest application, being the third in the series, is an abuse of court process as the court has refused similar applications twice".