The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday refused to hear a fresh motion for bail filed by ex-Chairman of the nowdefunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT) Abdulrasheed Maina. The court’s vacation judge, Justice A.R. Mohammed, declined to hear the bail motion after it was introduced by Maina’s counsel, David Iorhemba. While Iorhemba was speaking on his client’s bail motion, prosecution counsel, A. M.Ocholi said he had filed a counter-affidavit and preliminary objection. In his ruling, Justice Mohammed said the motion was contentious and as such could not be heard during the court’s vacation. The judge decided to return the case to Justice Okon Abang’s court, where it is originally being heard, for consideration of the new motion.
Maina is facing trial alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd on 12 counts in which they are accused, among others, of laundering over N1 billion. They were arraigned on October 25, 2019 following which Justice Abang ordered that Maina be remanded in Kuje prison. Upon being returned to prison, his counsel, Francis Oronsaye, withdrew from the case and his new lawyer, Anayo Adibe, filed another bail application, which Justice Abang, in a ruling on February 28, 2021, rejected on the grounds that it was without merit.
The court then held that Maina did not deserve being granted bail again after jumping an earlier bail. The judge further held that Maina failed to place sufficient materials before the court to convince it that he deserved another bail. Before the court’s vacation, Justice Abang adjourned further hearing in the case till October 4. Rather than await the next date fixed by the trial judge, Maina took the fresh motion for bail before another judge, who is sitting as the court’s vacation judge.