The Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, till October 31 to allow former President Goodluck Jonathan and erstwhile National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to appear in court as witnesses.
It had on October 3, signed a subpoena filed before it by Metuh, seeking to compel Dasuki to appear and give evidence.
Also on October 23, Justice Okon Abang signed another subpoena at the instance of Metuh, to compel Jonathan to come and testify in court.
Both Dasuki and Jonathan were expected to appear yesterday.
Delivering a bench ruling, Justice Abang noted that the bailiff could not effect personal service on the former leader.
In the circumstance, the court gave the bailiff five days to effect it after which “the law will take its cause.”
Should he fail to execute that, the court said an application for substituted service would suffice.
Justice Abang noted: “For the purpose of substituted service, the bailiff is an agent of the first defendant in the first place, the first defendant applied for the subpoena.”
Although the court noted that Section 124 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) was silent on who to effect substituted service, Justice Abang held that by the provision of Section 36(6)(d) of 1999 Constitution, “the subpoenaed witness, former President Jonathan was called by the first defendant.”
Contrary to the postion of Metuh’s lawyer, the court insisted that the first defendant was duty-bound to effect substituted service on Jonathan if need arises.