An erstwhile spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh has stated his role in the resignation of two of his lead counsels, Onyeachi Ikpeazu and Emeka Etiaba.
Concise News reports that in a statement explaining the withdrawal of the lawyers, Metuh said he took the decision “to free them from the harrowing challenges they have been facing on account of the conduct of his case.”
Metuh, who is facing trial for alleged fraud, was represented by the two Senior Advocates since the beginning of the matter in 2016.
In a recent letter signed by both lawyers, they alleged intimidation from unidentified persons and added that they were facing a conflicting situation of meeting the demands of their other matters and satisfying the expectations of Metuh who had insisted on having them present in his day-to-day trial.
In a reaction to the reports regarding the lawyers’ withdrawal, Metuh cites the alleged intimidation and the lawyers’ involvement in election matters as the reason for their resignation.
Metuh, who alleged that the lawyers had been faced with numerous threats in the course of the matter, added that he holds Messrs Ikpeazu and Etiaba in high esteem and was still utilising their legal services in other matters.
“Consequent upon numerous enquiries and various reports on the change of counsel in my case with the Federal Government, I have decided to set the record straight.
“The fact is that in the past three years, my counsels have been under immense intimidation and harassment on account of the conduct of this case. Despite their travails, they have held steadfast on my innocence and have gone to considerable personal costs in the conduct of the case.
“However, in the last few weeks, I have become aware that their life and personal freedom have been under severe threats which development informed their application to the court to withdraw from the case.
“I, therefore, came to the conclusion that instead of allowing the issue of their withdrawal to be at the discretion of the court, it was better in the circumstance, to free them from the harrowing challenges they have been facing on account of the conduct of this case.”