Friday, 8 April 2016

Armsgate: Olisa Metuh’s trial judge not biased – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday faulted the allegation that the trial judge in charge of Olisa Metuh’s case, Justice Okon Abang exhibited bias while carrying out his function. EFCC’s lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir said this during Metuh’s ongoing trial at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. According to Tahir, there is no evidence by the defendant to show that the trial judge had exhibited bias in his conduct. Tahir said, “There is no reason in the circumstance of this case that will make a reasonable person decide that the presiding judge has exhibited any conduct which has cast doubt on his ability to defend justice.” Recall that one of the counsels to Metuh, Emeka Etiaba had recently filed an application demanding justice Abang to disqualify himself from the case on the ground of bias. But the prosecution said Metuh has not provided “clear real likelihood evidence of bias against the judge.” Tahir urged the court to discountenance the application for lacking in merit. Etiaba in his response insisted that the trial judge cannot continue to preside over the case after he openly denied knowing Metuh sequel to the commencement of the matter. “If it is established that my lord has met the defendant and he was with him when he received an award, then the judge cannot continue to preside over the matter,” Etiaba said. But ruling on the matter, Justice Abang held that the defendant had failed to provide facts that he had exhibited bias in his handling of the matter. “It is my humble view that the application lacks merit, it is an abuse of court proceedings and is appropriately dismissed,” Justice Abang said. Matter continues…