Shortly after listening to a recorded programme aired on Channels Television involving the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, the judge presiding over the case has demanded the prosecution of three staff of Channels Television.
Premium Times reported that the judge, Okon Abang, also asked the office of the attorney general to institute a case of alleged prejudicial comments against a lawyer, Benchux Nwosu, representing Mr Metuh. He however failed to include a lawyer representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Johnson Ojogbane, who spoke through a telephone conversation to the station during the aired programme.
“The court has listened attentively to the video recording of Channels Television Sunrise Daily of April, 2018.
“I noticed that Bemchux Nwosu was also on the programme. I heard what he said about the trial going on in this court. If he was in court before me. I would have known what to do. I thought he had the courage. He ought to have appeared before the court.
“It is clear that the statement of the programme was aired outside the court not within the court therefore I have no jurisdiction to determine whether the statements are prejudicial to this court,” the judge said.
Okon Abang further added that though he has no jurisdiction to declare that the statement made by the three persons representing channels constituted prejudicial discussion, however he has the jurisdiction to refer this matter to the body that can determine such.
With this, he referred the matter to the disciplinary committee of the Nigeria Bar Association, and also directed that the prosecution (EFCC) file copies of compliance to the judgement within 30 days. It is also expected that the prosecution will comply with is the arraignment of the three journalists, along with Mr Nwosu in a court of law.