The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has dismissed the petition by Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, seeking the transfer of his trial for money laundering from Justice Okon Abang to another judge.

Justice Auta’s letter responding to the petition by Metuh stated that it was too late in the day to reassign the case in which the prosecution had already called all its witnesses.

The Chief Judge’s letter, dated March 24, 2016, signed by his Special Assistant, Mr. Ambrose Unaeze, was addressed to one of Metuh’s lawyers, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), who had signed and sent the petition on behalf of his client.

Mr Etiaba sent the petition to the Chief Judge, accusing Justice Abang of bias in the handling of the case after his clients were called upon to open their defence.

The lawyer claimed in the petition that Metuh was a classmate of the judge in the 1987/1988 set of the Nigerian Law School.

He claimed that Metuh and the judge both practised law in Lagos before the PDP spokesperson relocated to Abuja, and Justice Abang, on his part, was appointed a judge.

Meanwhile, Justice Abang, who presides over Metuh’s trial in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, will today (Friday) hear a fresh application by the PDP spokesperson, asking the same judge (Justice Abang) to disqualify himself from further presiding over the case.

Metuh’s fresh application is predicated on the same allegation of bias levelled against the judge in the March 16, 2016 petition which was sent to the Chief Judge of the court.

Justice Abang had earlier trashed all the allegations by Metuh in his response sent to the Chief Judge.

 

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