…Fixes March 1 for him to open his defence
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday declined to grant a new application for bail brought by former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, who is being tried for alleged money laundering related offences.
In a ruling, Justice Okon Abang, who held that the application was without merit, noted that Maina did not deserve being granted bail again after jumping the earlier bail.
Maina, who is being tried with his firm, had abandoned court in the last quarter of last year, following which the court, on November. 18, 2020, revoked his bail and ordered his arrest.
He was later arrested in Niger Republic and returned to court last December, during which the court ordered that he be remanded in Kuje prison, Abuja pending the conclusion of trial.
Upon being returned to prison, his lawyer, Francis Oronsaye withdrew; following which he engaged a new lawyer, Anayo Adibe, who filed the new bail application.
Justice Abang, in his ruling on Thursday, added that Maina failed to place sufficient materials before the court to convince it that he deserved bail the second time.
The judge noted that the medical report Maina brought from the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital showed that he was not under any medical emergency.
He said Maina was not only a flight risk, but a proving risk, having fled to the Republic of Niger and Chad in violation of the order of the court that he could only travel abroad on court’s permission.
The judge, who said Maina, disappointed the court, equally refused to grant his request for an order directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release his confiscated property, including a BMW Car.
The judge also dismissed Maina’s request for an order to set aside the orders made on November 18 and December 4, 2020
On November 18, the court ordered the continuation of the trial in Maina’s absence, while on December 4; the court ordered that he be remanded in prison upon his arrest in Niger Republic, where he allegedly fled to upon jumping bail.
Justice Abang then adjourned till March 1, 2021 for Maina to open his defence.