THE former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh has approached the Appeal Court to challenge the refusal of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja to release his international passport to enable him to travel to a London Hospital for a scheduled surgery.
In his appeal, predicated on 12 grounds, the former PDP spokesman complained that Justice Abang “manifested obvious bias” against him by failing to exercise his discretion judicially and judiciously when he dismissed his application based on “imaginary facts not borne out of the facts” in the application, thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice.
He also complained that Justice Abang erred in law and misdirected the court by dismissing his application on unfounded claims that he has been employing delay tactics to frustrate proceedings.
He averred that all the adjournments granted in the matter are in accordance with provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and after due consideration of all the facts of the matter.
The appellant further complained that Justice Abang, strayed away from the application before the court and accuse him of acting a script, using illness to frustrate early conclusion of the trial and having a hidden agenda, and without any evidence, relied on them to dismiss his application.
Metuh, who is facing N400 million money laundering charge had on several occasions been on admission in various hospitals in Nigeria over a worsening spinal chord ailment for which doctors had recommended surgery as definitive treatment and referred him to the London hospital since 2016.
He had, three times approached the trial court for the temporary release of his international passport, the third time being on February 23, 2018, after doctors in tertiary hospitals, including the National Hospital, Abuja, certified that he had lost sensation in his lower limbs following the deterioration of his ailment.
In the notice of appeal dated 14th of May, 2018, Metuh, who averred that his health is fast deteriorating, prayed the appellate court to set aside the ruling of the trial court, and order the temporary release of his international passport to enable him to go for the surgery and return to continue with the trial.
Metuh claims that the trial court erred in holding that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the application on its merit, given that the extent application is predicated on a new case and circumstance.
Arguing that a new case can arise when there is an emergence of new complications, symptoms or changed circumstances, which has not been brought to the notice of the court in the proceedings, Metuh averred that the loss of sensation in his lower limbs qualifies as a new case for which the trial court ought to make findings.
The appellant further contended that the trial court erred in law by approbating and reprobating when it barred him from tendering a medical report from any Nigerian doctor and still expect him to prove by a medical report, his entitlement to travel overseas for treatment.
He also urge the Appeal Court to note that Justice Abang, in his bias, delved into the decision of the Supreme court on his No Case Submission, wherein he misrepresented the apex court as affirming his decision that he has a case to answer, whereas the Supreme Court only upheld the decision of the Appeal Court that the appellant did not obtain leave before filing.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal.
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