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After jumping bail, Court Orders Maina To Remain In Prison Till End Of Trial

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday has ordered the remand of a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abulrasheed Maina, in prison, till the end of his trial.

Justice Okon Abang made the order following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar.

Maina who is being prosecuted by the EFCC on N2bn money laundering charges had jumped bail and fled to the Republic of Niger, but he was produced in court for the first time on Friday following his extradition to Nigeria earlier on Thursday.

He was produced in court at about 8:27 am ahead of the proceedings scheduled to commence by 9am on Friday, sitting between two EFCC operatives in the courtroom.

Maina last attended court in July and has subsequently missed up to six court sessions since September 29.

The court subsequently revoked the bail granted him, issued a bench warrant for his arrest and ordered his surety, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to forfeit the N500million bail bond he pledged.

His trial has since proceeded in his absence following the court’s order of November 18, 2020, which the judge, Justice Okon Abang, issued following the defendant’s repeated absence from court.

Unable to produce the defendant, his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, was imprisoned by the court but later granted bail after spending five days in detention.

However, ruling on the  EFCC’s application for a remand order, Justice Abang said, “The defendant is already on bench warrant having jumped bail.

“So he shall be remanded in correctional centre pending the conclusion of the trial.”

A lawyer, Adaji Abel, who newly took over Maina’s defence on Friday, appealed to the judge to adjourn the case to enable him to prepare adequately for the case.

The judge acceded to the request and adjourned till December 8.

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