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Olisa Metuh: Redefining The Template For Scuttling Justice In Nigeria

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Olisa Metuh on the floor after collapsing
Olisa Metuh on the floor after collapsing

Olisa Metuh on the floor after collapsing

The latest episode in the Olisa Metuh corruption case elicited alarm in many people. This is the right reaction. Nobody wants to see anybody dying even if they are the definition of corruption.

According to a report by Nigeria News, Olisa Metuh collapsed to the floor as he was approaching the dock for the continuation of his trial.

Apparently, Olisa Metuh over-estimated his strength or the ability of his legs to move him the short distance from his wheelchair to the dock. Apparently.

The little details that could help one piece the whole story are completely submerged in the emotions shrouding what happened.

Everybody present agreed on the following series of events. After the judge had arrived to preside over the case, he noticed that Olisa Metuh was in a bad state.

The judge decided to excuse the accused from having to move to the dock. Olisa Metuh, however, insisted that he was strong enough to walk the short distance to the dock.

Before the Judge could object, he stood up and starting walking and subsequently collapsed to the floor a moment later.

Here is my take.

Olisa Metuh is a fraud. Since this case started a few years ago, he had tried to have the case thrown out by any means he and his lawyers could think of.

He had gone through all the spurious injunctions people like him obtain from other courts to compromise the case. The most comical was when he accused the Judge of having a personal vendetta against him because they were in Law School together for 1 year and they had met at a function before.

It was seriously demeaning that higher courts in the land had to hear these complaints from Metuh and even deliberate on them. They were silly. In the end, he was told to go back to the court and prove his innocence.

The prosecution presented its case with all the evidence at their disposal. They rested their case over a year ago. It was now the turn of Metuh to pick holes in the government’s submission and prove his innocence.

Instead he started with new injunctions to have the case thrown out. Again, he was sent back to the court to mount a defense.

One would have thought that he would use the time to prove his innocence and go home a free man if he is not guilty as he’d claimed.

The issue of his health came up as one of his strongest hands in this judicial poker, when it became inevitable he must call witnesses to rubbish the prosecution’s case.

His lawyers wanted the judge to halt the case so that Metuh can go abroad to be treated for the spinal cord injuries he sustained some time back.

Clearly, the injuries are the reasons he comes to court in an ambulance and is wheeled into the courtroom on a stretcher; looking pathetic and very sick with his neck brace.

What is important to the case at this point is that Olisa Metuh is yet to begin his defense over a year after the prosecution had rested. Why?

Strategies like the one employed by Metuh and his lawyers him leaves wide open to negative speculations.

Even the people who had sympathy for him are already getting tired of his antics. The reason is simple. He is trying to take us all for fools.

What he is doing reminds people of what kids do if they don’t want to go school for some reason. They feign illness. Parents might fall for it the first time. But that is about how far kids get away with it.

After the first time, pretend as much they want, the parents would drag them by the neck screaming and throwing tantrums to school.

Unfortunately, because of the bitter politics going on in the country, many people, even though they know Olisah Metuh is faking it, would use this as another opportunity to stoke the fire of hate directed at the government.

‘They want to kill an innocent man’

‘Let them allow him to go abroad if they are not very wicked.’

That is the kind of logic flying around the net at the moment.

And later somebody would come out to say the government’s war on corruption is a sham because nobody has been convicted.

People making those statements know what Olisa Metuh is doing. And it is just one of several cases following similar pattern. Almost all those indicted have their own strategy of frustrating the course of Justice.

This is helped by a complicit judiciary and lawyers determined to get their clients off the hook by any means possible.

Clearly, Olisa Metuh is not interested in mounting his defense. That is not going to happen. His latest antics seem to be working too.

Justice Abang, who up till now had remained dignified, lost his cool and threatened to acquit Metuh since the EFCC lawyers seem not too interested in stopping Metuh from stringing all of them along.

Metuh and his lawyers have seen the cracks. They would take full advantage of them to break the resolve of the government to prosecute him.

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