Abdulrasheed Maina collapses in court

By Taiye Agbaje/Abuja

The former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, mounted a new drama at the Federal High Court in Abuja Thursday.

The former fugitive who is facing money laundering charge, collapsed before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He slumped after the court resumed proceedings in the 12-count charge filed by the EFCC.

The drama began when Anayo Adibe, counsel to Maina, told Justice Abang, 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.

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.

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However, 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.

Maina was hurriedly rushed out of the courtroom by Nigerian Correctional Centre officers, as Justice Abang suspended the proceedings.

Maina had, through his counsel, told the court on Wednesday that he had no case to answer in the allegations levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His lawyer took this position after counsel to the EFCC, Farouk Abdullah, closed the commission’s case.

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.

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

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.

He 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.

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He argued that the evidence tendered by the prosecution was insufficient to justify the trial of his client.

The case has been adjourned till 21 December.