A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the former chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team (PPRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina to open his defence on January 26 to 27.
Justice Okon Abang on Monday held that Maina may call as many as 21 witnesses, as already indicated in his processes, to testify on his behalf.
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Maina’s counsel, Anayo Adibe had earlier applied for leave to bring a no case submission challenging the trial before the court.
But Justice Abang foreclosed his right to make the application. According to the judge, having jumped bail in the course of the trial, Maina caused the court to rule that his trial would proceed in his absence, adding that the order was not challenged.
Maina was on October 25, 2019 arraigned on 12-count charges alongside his son, Faisal on three-count charges bordering on money laundering, and concealment of proceeds of unlawful act.
He was eventually released in June on a bail bond of N500 million or a property in Asokoro with Senator Ndume as surety.
But following his abscondment from trial, the lawmaker was remanded at the Kuje Correctional facility.
Maina was, however, produced in court on Dec. 4, by security operatives after he was arrested in neighbouring Niger Republic and extradited to Nigeria.