Former president, Goodluck Jonathan has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the subpoena compelling him to appear in the trial of former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.
Where the court refuses to set aside the summons, Jonathan wants the court to make an order directing Metuh to deposit the sum of N1billion with the court to cover his travel expenses and security from his hometown of Otuoke in Bayelsa State to Abuja and also for logistics “to cover any period of time that he might spend appearing before this honourable court as President of Nigerian between 2010 and 2015.”
In a motion on notice filed yesterday by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Jonathan stated that the request was in line with the provision of Section 241 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
Metuh was in January 2016 arraigned on a seven-count charge bordering on money laundering for allegedly receiving the sum of N400 million from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
Justice Okon Abang had on October 23 ordered Jonathan to appear before the court following an application by Metuh to summon the ex-president and former NSA, Dasuki as necessary witnesses in the trial.
But Jonathan has told the court he knows nothing and has “absolutely nothing to say as a witness in respect of the case,” adding that the charges against Metuh have no nexus or connection to him to warrant an invitation to testify in the charge.
He stated that the evidence sought from him is likely to expose him to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture.
Jonathan informed the court that he views the subpoena as part of attempts by some persons in the current dispensation to harass, intimidate, and rubbish his reputation and that of his wife.
In an affidavit by Usman Salihu, a lawyer in Ozekhome Chambers, the former president averred that “several attempts have been made to attach or seize the accounts and properties of his wife, her relatives, and her pet NGO. Most of the cases filed for and against such moves are currently pending before the various courts across Nigeria.”
“That when he read about the summons issued on him at the behest of the 2nd respondent Olisa Metuh, he was shocked as he verily believes strongly that it forms part of the ploy to drag his name into the mire,” he said.
Jonathan stated that Metuh was never his personal aide or appointee, explaining that as president between 2010 and 2015, he appointed ministers and different persons to carry out the day to day running of the government activities and “such appointees are those who directly relate with the president and not third parties such as the 2nd respondent.”
He further stated that “it is such appointees that can explain daily governmental transactions which they directly supervised and not the President who was the overall boss.”