Nigeria

[ICYMI] Alleged N2bn pension fraud: Maina appears for trial

Former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina was on Friday brought before a Federal High Court, Abuja to face trial in the 12-count charges slammed against him by the Federal Government.

When the matter came up on Friday, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), prosecuting Maina on behalf of the federal government, Mohammed Abubakar asked the court to order the remand of the former pension boss at the Correctional Center till the end of the matter.

The trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang, in his ruling, ordered that Maina, who was brought to court amidst tight security be remanded in the Correctional Center till the end of his trial.

Maina, who was granted a N500 million bail, with the Senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Senator Ali Ndume as his surety, jumped bail which led to the revocation of his bail and an order for his arrest.

The revocation of Maina’s bail and order for his attest followed his refusal to appear in court to face his trial for about four consecutive times.

Following that development, the trial judge ordered the remand of Ndume, who stood as his surety or produce him or be detained in prison custody or forfeits the N500 million bail bond to the Federal Government.

The former pension boss was arrested and extradited from Niamey, Niger Republic on Thursday and moved to Abuja to appear in court for the continuation of his trial earlier slated for Friday.

When his case was mentioned, Maina’s new counsel, Abel Adaji informed the court that he was just briefed of the matter and requested for a short time to enable him to prepare adequately for the defence of his client.

The prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar in his submission, opposed the request for the adjournment on the ground Maina’s bail has been revoked by the court

Abang, in his ruling, ordered that Maina be remanded at the correctional centre and adjourned the matter till December 8, 2020, for the continuation of trial.

The judge held that Maina was still presumed innocent until being proven otherwise, adding that the former pension boss was still entitled to his constitutional rights pending the determination of the case.

Maina is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on a 12-count charge of alleged money laundering to a tune of N2 billion but jumped bail and fled to the Niger Republic.

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