Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A prosecution counsel with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja how the ex-chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team ((PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina planned to kill him in connection with his ongoing trial.
Abubakar further told Justice Okon Abang that Maina plotted to kill the EFCC witnesses and officials of Nigerian Correctional Services to escape from custody.
In a motion on notice seeking revocation of Maina’s bail, Abubakar argued “that the 1st defendant/respondent (Maina), who was granted bail by the court since 26th November, 2019 (though still in custody) has perfected plans to assassinate prosecution witnesses and counsel in this matter.
‘That the 1st defendant/respondent perfected plans to escape from custody and abscond, and in the process assassinate Nigerian Correctional Service officials attached to him.”
Justice Abang had, on January 28, 2020, varied Miana’s bail conditions, following his inability to meet the bail terms granted him on November 26, 2019.
Maina, who had pleaded with the court to further vary the already varied bail terms, insisted that he had been unable to get a senator to stand as surety for his release.
Responding to his plea, Abubakar told the court that there was a “need to protect the witnesses, counsel and officers by keeping the 1st defendant/respondent in custody during the pendency of this criminal matter as well as provide additional/maximum security around him while in custody pending conclusion of trial.
“That when the 1st defendant/respondent was arrested preparatory to his arraignment before this court, his son who was with him was found to be in illegal possession of firearm and the son, Faisal, physically attacked the security officers arresting his father to resist the arrest or free his father.
“That consequent to the above, Faisal Maina is currently being prosecuted by the Nigeria Police for the offences stated in ground (d) above,’ he added.
However, counsel to Maina, Joe Gadzama, SAN, prayed for a brief adjournment, to enable him respond to the prosecution’s objection.
He also prayed the court to hear the two applications together on the announcement date.
However, Abubakar insisted that his application was ripe for hearing since it was listed for the day.
Justice Abang, in his ruling, said that it was convenient for the court to take the application seeking to further vary the bail conditions and the application seeking to revoke the bail together since they were related to the liberty of Maina, who was still in detention.
He adjourned hearing on the matter until March 16 to take the arguments of the parties in the suit.