Court Orders Trial Of Three Channels TV Journalists For Contempt
The presiding judge in the ongoing trial of the Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh has ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to arraign three TV Presenters for anchoring a program where prejudicial statements were made relating to Metuh’s case, pending in court.
Justice Okon Abang gave the order on Tuesday after viewing the recorded programme in open court, where he held that the conduct of the three anchors of channels television breakfast show, sunrise daily, Chamberlain Usoh, Gimba Umar and Anneota Egbe were contemptuous
He directed that the presenters be docked along with their guest on the programme, a lawyer in Metuh’s legal team, Ben-Chuks Nwosu before any court of coordinate jurisdiction under section 133(4) of the Criminal Code, in order to determine whether the conversation held on the programme that day were prejudicial or not , as well as to make the media outfit explain why it engaged in a matter pending before the court.
The court also called on the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA to determine if Nwosu’s conduct was in violation of Rule 33 of the Rules of professional conduct of legal practitioners, 2007.
The court however could not order any action against an EFCC prosecutor, Johnson Ojogbane, who was equally featured in the TV program through a telephone conversation
Justice Abang further vacated an earlier order declaring the closure of Metuh’s case due to his unexplained absence and his counsels from court.
He consequently adjourned to July 4 to enable Metuh testify for himself after calling 11 witnesses.