Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered Senator Ali Ndume to be remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre over his failure to produce the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina in court.
Justice Okon Abang who issued the remand order on Monday, directed that Senator Ndume should remain at the Correctional facility until he forfeit the N500 million bail bond he entered as surety to Maina, who has jump bail.
The court further empowered the Federal government to sell his property at Asokoro district of Abuja in order to recover the N500m bail bond.
Justice Abang said Ndume shall only be released from the Kuje Correctional Centre once he is able to pay the N500m bail bond or if the prosecutor is able to dispose the property and make payment to the Federal government.
Meanwhile, the court has fixed November 24 to proceed with Maina’s trial in his absence.
The court had last Wednesday issued a warrant of arrest against former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina.
The order was necessitated by the persistent absence of Maina in court to stand trial in the N2Billoon fraud charges brought against him by the federal government.
Before that, Justice Okon Abang issued the order after revoked the N500 million bail he granted Maina on the ground that it has been abused.
Accordingly, he ordered security agents in the country to arrest Maina anywhere he is found and bring him before the court.
The court also gave Senator Ali Ndume, who stood surety for Maina, a five- day ultimatum to show cause why he would not forfeit the N500m bail bond to the Federal government.
Maina’s absence in court last Wednesday, was the fourth time since the court released him on bail and he will be made to face the consequences of his jumping his bail.
Following the development, Justice Abang approved the request by the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to proceed with the trial in his absence.
Counsel to the EFCC, Muhammed Abubakar, had complained that Maina could not be located in spite of efforts to get him to the court.
The lawyer informed the Judge that Maina was not in court for the fourth time, pleaded with the court to revoke the bail being enjoyed by Malina so that he could be apprehended by security operatives.
In his short ruling, Justice Abang agreed that Maina had grossly abuse the bail granted him and consequently ordered its revocation.
He ordered that Maina be arrested in any part of the country he may be found and brought to Abuja to face the trial.