A Federal High Court Judge, Justice Okon Abang, has given an order that a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team and serial fugitive from the law, Abdulrasheed Maina, be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja, until the conclusion of his trial.
The order was given, Friday, at the resumed hearing of the case of money laundering filled against the defendant by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
At the resumed trial, the counsel representing Maina, Adaji Abel formally withdrew and the counsel engaged to step in by Mr. Maina asked for a short adjournment to enable him study the facts of the case.
Justice Abang granted the application for adjournment on the ground that the defendant who is presumed innocent is entitled to legal representation.
He subsequently adjourned the case to the 8th of December for a continuation of trial.
Maina’s trial had been holding in absentia after he jumped bail and ran off to the Niger Republic. A High Court in Abuja declared him wanted before he was arrested in Niamey, Niger Republic.
The embattled former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) was extradited to Nigeria on Thursday to face his ongoing money laundering trial.
On Friday, after all the documents and written responses of the government agencies were tendered as exhibits, the prosecution counsel, M.S. Abubakar, prayed the court to foreclose the right of the defendants to respond to the admissibility of the documents.
In his ruling, Justice Abang upheld the prosecution’s prayer, noting that opportunity was offered to the defendants to be in court to oppose the admissibility of the document in evidence, but they failed to appear and also failed to engage counsel of their choice.
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