The trial of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, for alleged N400 million fraud continued on Friday with the defendant still absent in court.
It is the second time Mr Metuh will be absent in court due to ill health and the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, has insisted that the case will continue despite his absence.
As the trial commenced, the prosecutor stated in his submission that more than 40 minutes after, no single lawyer had appeared on behalf of the defendant neither was there any letter to explain their whereabouts.
He also noted that the absence of Metuh’s counsel is willful because even if there was a letter, it ought to have come three days before today’s trial commenced, and as such the proceedings should continue as scheduled.
But in his submission, Mr Owugbufor (counsel to the second defendant) which is Mr Metuh’s company, said he is aware of section 349 subsection 2, which according to him, states that where a defence lawyer is absent from court after two adjournments, the court shall ask the defendant if he wishes to keep engaging such a lawyer.