“Their Lives And Personal Freedom Have Been Under Severe Threats” – Olisa Metuh On Withdrawing His Laywers
Olisa Metuh, the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has today said he debriefed his counsels, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, and Emeka Etiaba, SAN, because of harrowing challenges they have been facing on account of the conduct of his case.
Metuh also specifically affirmed that in the past three years, his counsels have been under immense intimidation and harassment.
The former party spokesman said his explanation became necessary because he was barraged with calls and inquiries ever since he disengaged his counsels.
“Despite their travails, they have held steadfast on my innocence and have gone to considerable personal costs in the conduct of the case.
“However, in the last few weeks, I have become aware that their lives and personal freedom have been under severe threats which development informed their application to the court to withdraw from the case.
“It is pertinent to state that the said Counsels are, however, still representing me in other matters in other courts, as my estimation, respect and value for them have increased now, more than ever before.
“More importantly, there has been a smooth transition as I have been mindful of any undue delay in the change of Counsel, even with the difficulty and near impossibility of getting a Senior Counsel in Nigeria, who will endure the threats and pressures from official quarters as well as abandon election petitions in this season.
“Secondly because of the day-day trial ordered by the court, it became difficult for them to give my case the time and full energy the matter demanded given their diaries and involvement in other cases, (election cases inclusive)
“It is public knowledge that in the course of this trial, I have restricted the travails to myself only as I do not wish any other person to be part of the humiliation, tribulation (including health challenge) and persecution that I have suffered over time”.
It was on the premise of the aforestated circumstances Metuh said he hired a new lawyer called Abel Ozioko whom he averred was presently going through the tome of legal fireworks and elements embedded in the case for stronger legal representation.
The former PDP spokesman said his action was expedient instead of allowing the issue of their withdrawal to be at the discretion of the court.