Federal High Court, Abuja, yestetday ordered Senator Ali Ndume, to bring Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT) to court on November 18 or be detained in his place.
Ndume while appealing, said some prominent Nigerians, prevailed on him to stand the surety after Maina had remained in Kuje Prison without anyone standing surety for him. He disclosed this while responding to Justice Okon Abang’s question on the whereabouts of the ex-pension reformed boss. The senator, who represents Borno South Senatorial District where Maina hails from, had recently deposed to an affidavit to always bring him to court at every adjourned date or forfeit the N500 million bail bond, nine months after Maina had been unable to meet the bail conditions. However, since Maina was released in July, he had been absent in court since the trial resumed on September 29.
Maina’s Counsel, Francis Oronsaye, had told the court that his client was in Maitama Hospital where he was undergoing medical treatment.
Although Maina had at several times not been in court, the lawmaker had always attended sittings at every sitting. Ndume told the court, on October 2, that he does not know the whereabouts of Maina after he was absent from court since the trial resumed.
Justice Abang had ordered the senator to produce Maina unfailingly in the next adjourned date or he would be forced to grant the EFCC’s prayers to revoke Maina’s bail, among others. The judge also threatened to grant the anti-graft agency’s prays to make an order for the lawmaker to forfeit the N500 million bail bond to the Federal Government and be remanded in prison pending the time he was able to meet the pledge.
Maina had, on October 8, in a viral video clip on social media claimed that he was nursing a knee injury in a hospital and would appear in court as soon as his doctor certified him fit to stand his trial. However, due to the inability of the court to sit since the adjourned date, the matter was fixed for today, October 19, for trial continuation.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s Lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, said though the matter was fixed for trial continuation, the 1st defendant (Maina) was not in court. According to him, the defendant had absented himself from trial without any explanation and that has hindered the prosecution from continuing with the smooth trial of this case.