The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Mr Abubakar Malami, to intervene in the ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Spokesman, Mr Olisa Metuh, to enable him to receive treatment.
This followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Rep. Chris Azubogu (Anambra-PDP) on the “need to save the life of Olisa Metuh.”
Moving the motion, Azubogu claimed that Metuh, who was currently standing trial on charges of money-laundering, was experiencing serious health challenges.
According to him, Metuh’s health started deteriorating while in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which led to his collapse in court some time ago.
He also said that Metuh was recently rushed to Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, where he was diagnosed as suffering from a severe spinal cord injury.
He added that this prompted his appearance in court in an ambulance in Abuja.
Azubogu, however, explained that while Metuh was standing trial and had not been convicted of any crime, denying him proper medical care could cost him his life or permanent paralysis.
He noted that the same Federal High Court, Abuja, where Metuh was standing trial had granted other persons facing similar charges, leave to travel abroad for treatment, yet it had continued to deny Metuh’s request.
In his contribution, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Rep. Emmanuel Oker-Jev, opposed the motion.
He said that Order 9(1)5 of the House rules forbade it to dabble into any matter pending before the court.
Orker-Jev added that when he saw the images of Metuh on a stretcher in court on Monday, he felt pity for the former PDP spokesman.
But, he said that if Metuh was not satisfied with the decision of court on his quest to go abroad for medical care,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“he should approach a higher court and not come to parliament.”
On his part, Rep. Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC) said that the House could not compel the court to take any decision.
However, he stated that “in the interest of human right, we can urge the Attorney-General as the chief law officer of the country to intervene.”
The motion was adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
Consequently, Dogara mandated the Committees on Justice and Human Rights to follow up the matter and report back to the House in two weeks.
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