|Former Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan|
Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has filed an application before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, asking for an order of court wholly setting aside the issuance and service of the subpoena and testificandum issued on him by the court on October 23, 2017, for the purpose of compelling him to appear in court to give evidence in proceedings of a charge delineated FHC/ABJ/ CR/05/2016.
The suit was filed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria against Olisa Metuh and Destra Investment Limited with a seven-count criminal charge.
Jonathan further asked in the alternative for an order mandating Olisa Metuh to deposit the sum of one billion naira with the court in line with the provisions of Section 241 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The one billion naira according to former President Jonathan, is to cover his travel expenses and that of his security personnel from Otuoke to Abuja and for logistics as well as provision of tight security to cover the period of time he might spend appearing before the court as former President and any other order the court may deem fit.
The Motion on Notice dated October 27, 2017 and signed by his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) was brought before the court pursuant Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered, Section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, Section 183 of the Evidence Act 2011 and the inherent jurisdiction of the court as preserved in Section 6 (6A&B) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered.
The grounds given by the former President in his Motion on Notice includes that the evidence being sought from him is an invasion of his personal privacy and family life as provided in Section 37 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered.
He further stated that the evidence being sought from him is likely to expose him to a criminal charge, penalty and forfeiture, adding that the subpoena is vague and applied for on a frivolous ground.
According to him, the application for issuance of a subpoena for him to appear and give evidence in the charge against Metuh was in bad faith as it was meant to embarrass him and subject him to public ridicule, odium and obloquy.
Former president Jonathan argued further in his application before the court that Olisa Metuh was not his personal aid or appointee while he was the president of Nigeria and could not have dealt with him directly under any circumstance to warrant his invitation to give testimony in the criminal charge against him.
He added that the seven-count-charge against Metuh before the court for which he was invited to testify has no nexus or connection to him as during his tenure, he appointed people into different positions of authority to carry out the day to day running of government activities and he believed in their competence that they discharged the duties to the best of their ability in the overall interest of the nation.
This he said, indicates that it is these appointees that related with him directly and not any third parties, adding that it is these appointees that are in the best position to explain or give testimony on the daily activities of government under their supervision.
Explaining his request for an alternate order mandating Metuh to deposit one billion naira for his travel expense with the court, Jonathan stated that by provisions of Section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, he is not bound to attend court except Metuh pays for his travel expense.
The Motion on Notice filed by the former president was supported by a six-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Usman Salihu, a litigation officer with the law firm of Mike Ozekhome and a written address in which former President Jonathan argued his points in support of the motion.