The trial of the former chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina has been adjourned till February 19, 2021.
The matter was adjourned on Monday by Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court in Abuja.
Maina was expected to open his defence and move his application for a fresh bail on Monday when the case came up in court, however, his new lawyer, Sani Katu moved for an adjournment, arguing that he is yet to familiarize himself with the case and has not been able to see his client in the Kuje correctional centre where he is been held in custody as well.
“I am seeing the defendant applicant (Maina) for the first time now. I have not gone to prison to see him,” he said.
It will be recalled the Federal High Court in Abuja allowed Mr Adeola Adedipe to withdraw from the corruption case against the former chairman of the Pensions Committee, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Justice Okon Abang allowed the lawyer to resign because his employer was unable to pay for his services in representing Maina.
Reacting to the submission by Maina’s new lawyer, the counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar opposed the request for adjournment.
He argued that the affidavits attached to the bail application showed that he was given access to his lawyers.
“It is also very clear from these affidavits that his team of counsel has free access to him and have been having interview sessions with him,” Abubakar said.
“In the light of all these, our humble submission is that the 1st defendant (Maina) is ready for everything else except the opening of his defence in the trial.”
In his ruling on the application, Justice Abang said: “The court must look at the justice of the case and take a decision that will take into consideration the competing rights of parties.”
He thereafter granted Maina’s plea based on section 396(4) of the constitution.
The case was thereafter adjourned till February 19 for Maina to open his defence and for all pending applications to be heard.
Naija News recalled Maina is being prosecuted by the EFCC on 12 counts bordering on money laundering and embezzlement to the tune of N2 billion.
He had previously jumped bail but was rearrested and repatriated from the Niger Republic where he was hiding to continue facing his trial.
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