A judge presiding over the alleged fraud case involving former People’s Democratic Party national advertising secretary Olisa Metuh has called for the prosecution of three Channels Television staff.
Judge Okon Abang also called on the attorney general’s office to bring a claim for alleged wrongdoing against a lawyer, Benchux Nwosu, representing Mr. Metuh.
The judge made the order after listening to a recorded program broadcast on Channels Television regarding Mr. Metuh’s ongoing trial.
The judge, however, did not include a lawyer representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Johnson Ojogbane, who spoke by phone with the station during the broadcast.
“The court listened attentively to the video recording of Channels Television Sunrise Daily from April 2018.
“I noticed that Bemchux Nwosu was also on the program. I heard what he said about the ongoing trial in this court. If he was in court before me. I would have known what to do. I thought he had the courage. He should have appeared in court.
“It is clear that the statement from the show was broadcast outside the court and not inside the court, so I have no jurisdiction to determine whether the statements are prejudicial to this court,” said the judge.
Mr. Abang said although he did not have the jurisdiction to declare that the statement made by the three people representing the chains constituted a prejudicial discussion, “I have jurisdiction to refer this matter to the body which can determine it.” .
The judge then ordered that the case be referred to the disciplinary committee of the Nigerian Bar Association. He also ordered the Public Prosecutor’s Office (EFCC) to file copies of the judgment compliance within 30 days.
Part of what the prosecution is expected to comply with is the indictment of the three journalists with Mr. Nwosu in court.
The judge said the case should be brought by the Federation Attorney General’s office, Abubakar Malami.
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