The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, adjourned the trial and hearing of bail application of Abdulrasheed Maina, defunct Chairman, Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), until February 19 at the instance of his lawyer, Sani Katu, SAN. Justice Okon Abang adjourned the matter after Katu told the court that he needed more time to enable him prepare adequately for Maina’s defence, since he was coming into the matter afresh.
The lawyer, who said he was unable to meet his client at the Kuje Correctional Centre for pre-trial conference, urged the court to adjourn the case in the interest of justice.
He said he had earlier discussed the development with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s lawyer, Moham med Abubakar, before the sitting commenced.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maina had, on January 20, approached Justice Abang for another bail after his arrest for jumping the first bail. Maina, in a motion on notice dated and filed on December 24, 2020 brought by his lawyer, Anayo Adibe, said the application became necessary over his worsening health condition.
In the motion, the expension boss told the court that he had reasonable and responsible sureties, who were willing to act as sureties if granted bail. The judge had adjourned the hearing of the bail application until February 1 and equally fixed the trial continuation on the same date. However, at the resumed trial, Katu, who was appearing for Maina for the first time, sought for adjournment to enable him prepare for his client’s defence.
However, the EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, opposed the application for adjournment. “The matter was adjourned for hearing of pending application dated December 24, 2020. The matter was initially adjourned until January 26 and January 27 for continuation of hearing.
“The 1st defendant filed an application for bail on 30th day of December 2020 and equally filed for an abridgment of time to hear the bail application, and my lord graciously fixed the hearing of the bail on January 20, 2021,” he said.
Abubakar reminded that on the day the application for bail came up, all the parties were ready to proceed. He added that Maina served the agency an application he filed on January 15, and a further affidavit early in the morning before the sitting. He argued that in all the applications, the deponents stated that they had met Maina and he informed them of the statements and positions made in these processes.