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Waist pain may keep Metuh from court longer than expected

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Waist pain may keep Metuh from court longer than expected

The immediate past National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, has been transferred from the National Hospital, Abuja to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital‎, his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), told a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday.

He was said to have left the National Hospital, Abuja where he was on bed rest about a fortnight ago.

Metuh was scheduled to continue his defence in his ongoing trial on charges of money laundering a‎nd alleged fraudulent receipt of N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014.

‎The ex-PDP spokesperson was however absent from court on Friday.

His lawyer tendered a letter from LUTH dated June 8, 2016 confirming that Metuh was under observation in the hospital.

Etiaba said Metuh opted for LUTH following the court’s refusal to grant him permission to seek medical care in the United Kingdom as was recommended by the National Hospital.

The letter from LUTH, signed for Consultant Neurosurgeon by Dr. Olufemi Bankole, said Metuh was under observation and management by the hospital.

The letter stated the process would require Metuh to be confined to bed rest for some time.

It did not state the duration the observation would last.

‎Prosecution lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir, faulted the procedure of Metuh’s relocation from one hospital to another without the knowledge of the court.

“The letter is dated June 8. It is curious that on the eve of the resumption of the court’s business, another letter is written,” he said.

“The court being human being, like us, who are all mortals, we expect a demonstration of good faith such that will not give room for doubt. We most reluctantly concede to adjournment.”

In his response, Etiaba denied the impression that his client was playing pranks.  He explained that Metuh was actually ill and needed medical attention.

Etiaba said his client could not procure a referral note from the National Hospital management because it said its facility was the best in the country and thus could not reverse itself by referring Metuh to inferior Nigerian hospitals having earlier referred him for treatment abroad.

In his ruling, Justice Abang ‎expressed displeasure at the way his last ruling, in which he refused Metuh’s request to travel abroad, was reported in some online media.

He stated that at no time did he castigate the PDP for the sorry state of health facilities in the country. And that, that was not why Metuh’s request for foreign trip was rejected.

Although Justice Abang noted that the duration of his treatment was not indicated in a medical report issued by one Dr. O. O. Oyeleye, a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the National Hospital, Abuja, which Metuh submitted to support his request for adjournment, the judge adjourned to May 30.

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