A judge of the federal high court, Justice Okon Abang, has stated that Chief Olisa Metuh fell in court after he disobeyed court order to take his seat.
Metuh, a former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was said to have collapsed in the Abuja court while he was making his way to the dock on Monday.
The incident made the presiding judge to rise briefly while Metuh received medical attention.
But at the continued trial on Tuesday, Abang said Metuh — who was absent in court — fell “on his own” after refusing to obey the court’s directive that he should sit down.
Tochukwu Onwugbufor, a defence lawyer, had urged the court to adjourn the matter due to Metuh’s absence.
He said it was the court’s doctor that recommended that Metuh be taken to the hospital on Monday.
But the judge immediately said he never directed any doctor to see Metuh after he fell.
“The court did not direct the doctor to attend to the defendant,” he said, adding: “I would not know the person that directed the doctor to see the defendant when I rose briefly upon hearing that the defendant fell down on his own.
“The court directed him to sit down where he was but he decided to fall down on his own.”
Thereafter, Sylvanus Tahir, the prosecuting counsel, asked the judge to proceed with the case despite Metuh’s absence.
Meanwhile, Emeka Etiaba, counsel to Metuh, also returned to the court after requesting to withdraw from the case.
The judge had refused his request on the ground that it would delay the trial.
Metuh is standing trial for alleged money laundering. He was accused of illegally receiving N400 million from the office of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser.