Former President Goodluck Jonathan has given more reasons why he wants to be excused from appearing as a witness in the ongoing trial of a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh at an Abuja Federal High Court.
Metuh, who is standing trial for receiving the sum of N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014, had requested and got the court to issue a subpoena demanding Jonathan’s presence in court.
Jonathan, giving reasons in the motion filed challenging the subpoena, said “with several attempts by some persons in the current dispensation, to harass, intimidate and rubbish” his reputation and that of his wife, the witness summon issued on him is a ploy to further drag his name in the mud.
The motion, filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Jonathan pointed out that there had been attempts to seize the property and close bank accounts belonging his wife, Patience, her relatives and her non-governmental organisation.
Deposing to the affidavit filed in support of the motion, a litigation secretary in Ozekhome’s law firm, Usman Salihu, disclosed that the former president expressed shock on learning of the witness summon issued against him at Metuh’s behest.
According to Salihu, “That he (Jonathan) has read in the media of a witness summons issued by this honourable court requiring him to come before the court for the purpose of testifying before the court.
“That there have been several attempts by some persons in the current dispensation to harass, intimidate and rubbish his reputation and that of his wife.
“That several attempts have been made to attach or seize the accounts and properties of his wife, her relatives and her pet, NGO. Most of the cases filed for and against such moves are currently pending before various courts across Nigeria.
“That when he read about the summons issued on him at the behest of the 2nd respondent, Olisa Metuh, he was shocked as he verily believes strongly that it forms part of the ploy to drag his name into the mire.
“That he knows nothing pertaining to the seven counts for which Olisa Metuh, the first defendant in the charge is standing trial and consequently, has absolutely nothing to say as a witness before the court in respect thereof.
“That he verily believes that the evidence sought from him, is likely to expose him to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture.”
Contending that the subpoena was vague, Salihu said the subpoena was obtained in bad faith as it is meant to embarrass the former president.
Salihu stated that Metuh is not a personal aide nor an appointee of the applicant, as such could not have dealt with the President directly under any circumstance to warrant the invitation.