Nigeria's former president summoned in corruption trial

2017-10-24 18:58
Goodluck Jonathan (AFP)

Goodluck Jonathan (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - A judge on Tuesday ordered Nigeria's former president Goodluck Jonathan to appear at the corruption trial of his party's former spokesperson.

The summons is a surprise development and will be keenly watched, as Jonathan has been cited in several corruption cases but is not thought to have been formally questioned.

But whether he appears depends on when or if he is formally served the court papers in time.

Olisa Metuh is on trial accused of having fraudulently received from $1.1m from Jonathan's national security advisor, Sambo Dasuki.

The former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson maintains he received the money on Jonathan's orders to fund his unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2015.

On Monday, Metuh's lawyers said they intended to call the ex-head of state as a witness.

Judge Abang Okon, sitting at the Federal High Court in Abuja, said it would be "tantamount to violating the right of (Metuh) to (a) fair hearing not to sign the subpoena".

"I have no option other than to sign a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court on October 25, 2017 to give evidence," he added.

Metuh's legal team has already successfully sought an order that Dasuki should give evidence.

The former army colonel is being tried separately, accused of illegally diverting some $2bn in defence funds meant to equip Nigeria's military against Boko Haram jihadists.

Prominent PDP figures and supporters are alleged to have received the money.

Metuh's lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, told reporters outside court the request for Jonathan to attend was because "justice... demands all the cards to be placed perfectly on the table".

Prosecutor Tahir Silvanus added: "We, the prosecution, have no problem with that.

"We look forward to having them, both Colonel Dasuki and the former president, in court so that they can assist in moving the wheel of justice forward."

Dasuki, who is also using Jonathan as an alibi, has been in custody since his arrest in 2015, despite several court orders that he should be released on bail.

His lawyer, Ahmed Raji, said the issue should be postponed as compelling his client to appear was "very oppressive" and he was "not in the right frame of mind" after so long in custody.

"He doesn't have access to any document," he said, adding that he also had a constitutional right to remain silent.

Read more on:    goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.