Court adjourns till December 21, as Maina collapses in court | Dailytrust

Court adjourns till December 21, as Maina collapses in court

Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the trial of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina to December...

Ex-Pension boss, Abdulrasheed Maina after he collapsed in court on Thursday, December 10, 2020.
Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the trial of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina to December 21 and 22.
Maina is facing 12-count charge of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2 billion but he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
His counsel had prayed to the court for an adjournment to enable him get records of court proceedings.
According to Adibe, the proceedings would help him prepare for the no-case submission he intends to file on behalf of his client.
But, Justice Abang told Adibe that it was his duty to get the record of proceedings, which had already been processed, from the registry rather than waiting for the registrar to look for him.
However, earlier  Thursday as the registrar was reading out the proceedings that were ready for collection, Maina, who was sitting beside the dock, slumped, causing confusion in the courtroom.

The drama began when Anayo Adibe, counsel to Maina, told the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, of the Federal High Court, that he would be unable to continue with his client’s no-case submission motion today, because he was yet to receive the record of proceedings of the court since Maina’s arraignment.

But after Maina collapsed, the court rose abruptly to enable officials of the Correctional Service and relations of the former pension boss to attend to him.
He was hurriedly rushed out of the courtroom by Nigerian Correctional Centre officers, as Justice Abang suspended the proceedings.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maina had, through his counsel, told the court on Wednesday that he had no case to answer in the allegations levied against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Maina, had earlier told Justice Abang, shortly after counsel to the EFCC, Farouk Abdullah, had closed the commission’s case, that he would be filing a no-case submission.

No case to answer

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maina had, through his counsel, told the court on Wednesday that he had no case to answer in the allegations levied against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Maina, had earlier told Justice Abang, shortly after counsel to the EFCC, Farouk Abdullah, had closed the commission’s case, that he would be filing a no-case submission.

Recall that Maina was first arraigned before Justice Abang, on 25 Oct., 2019, by the EFCC, alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2 billion, allegations that he denied.

On Nov. 18, Justice Abang ordered Maina’s arrest following his refusal to appear in court since Sept. 29 when his case resumed.

Bail on grounds of good conduct

Sen. Ali Ndume (APC – Borno), who stood surety for Maina, was remanded in prison custody on Nov. 23, for failure to produce him in court, but was granted bail five days after, on grounds of his good conduct.

Maina was, however, produced in court on Dec. 4, by security operatives after he was arrested in neighbouring Niger Republic and extradited to Nigeria.

At Wednesday’s sitting, Maina’s counsel told the court that he would be filing a no-case application in accordance with Sections 302 and 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, arguing that the evidence tendered by the prosecution was insufficient to justify the trial of his client.

The matter had been adjourned on Wednesday to today for the defendant to argue his no-case submission and for the prosecution to respond to the same orally.

As at the time of filing this report, the former pensions reform chairman was still being attended to by court assigned medical officers.