Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday challenged the witness summon issued on him by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to appear today to testify as a defence witness in the trial of former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.
The witness summon (subpoena) was issued on Jonathan and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Dasuki upon request by Metuh, who is being tried with his company Destra Investment Limited, over alleged money laundering offences.
In an application filed yesterday by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, Jonathan particularly wants the court to void the subpoena issued on him.
Dasuki has also appealed the decision by the trial judge in the Metuh case, Justice Okon Abang, rejecting his request to set aside the summon issued on him.
Jonathan in the application asked the court for an order to set aside the issuance and service of the ‘subpoena ad testifiandum’ issued on October 23 for the purpose of his appearance in court and give evidence in the proceeding in charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/05/2016.
Alternatively, Jonathan prayed the court to direct Metuh to deposit with the court, for and on his (Jonathan’s) behalf, N1 billion only in line, with the provisions of Section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to cover travelling expenses for himself and his security personnel from his home town Otuoke in Bayelsa State, to Abuja and also for time that he might spend appearing before the court as President of Nigeria between 2010 to 2015.
In his ground of application Ozekhome submitted that the evidence sought to be obtained from the applicant will amount to an invasion of his personal right to privacy, and family life as provided for in Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
In addition, he submitted that the evidence sought to be obtained from the applicant is likely to expose the applicant to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture.
He further argued that the subpoena is vague and applied for and obtained of frivolous grounds and in bad faith as it was meant to embarrass the person of the applicant.
Jonathan contended that Metuh was not a personal aid or appointee of the applicant herein and so could not have dealt with the President directly under any circumstance to warrant the invitation of the applicant to testify in the charge.
He argued that there is no nexus between the applicant and Metuh and the charge for which Metuh is standing trial.