A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed an application filed Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) to further review the bail conditions granted him on Nov. 26, 2019. Justice Okon Abang, in his ruling, described the latest application by Maina as “unmeritorious.”
Maina, who is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on money laundering related charges, had been unable to meet the conditions attached to the bail.
The court had, on Jan. 28, varied Maina’s bail conditions following his inability to meet the bail terms granted him.
Maina had, in a Feb. 20 application, sought a further review of the bail terms, insisting that he had been unable to get a senator to stand as surety for his release.
However, Justice Abang, on Wednesday, held that the applicant was wrong to have dictated to the court the conditions he preferred.
“The 1st defendant failed to place materials before the court, with convincing reasons, to show that there exist exceptional circumstances to warrant the variation of the conditions of the bail earlier varied.
“The application filed by the 1st defendant lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed,” the judge said.
Justice Abang also, on Wednesday, rejected the request by the EFCC for the revocation of the bail granted the ex-chair of PRTT.
The EFCC, had in a motion on notice, claimed that Maina had perfected plans to escape from custody and assassinate the prosecuting lawyer and prosecution’s witnesses.
Abang held that it was premature for the court to take a definite position on the issue, because there was no evidence before the court that the allegation by the prosecution had been established by any security agency.
The judge said that the request to revoke Maina’s bail was premature because he believed that investigation of the allegations had not been concluded since Maina claimed he had not been questioned by any security agency on the issue.
The judge also rejected the EFCC’s request for an order directing that more security measure be put in place around the suspect, currently being held at the Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.
Justice Abang noted that, since the executive arm controls all the security agencies and the prosecuting agency, it could easily provide additional security if it felt such measure was necessary, without any order of the court.
The EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, then told the court to give a date for trial continuation since there was indication that the Federal Government would relax the current lockdown as measure to contain the coronavirus by May 4.
However, Maina’s lawyer, Joe Gadzama, SAN, disagreed with the submission, saying the team of lawyers would meet with the court registrar on how to go about it.