New Telegraph

February 29, 2024

Pension scam: Ndume to stand as Maina’s surety

Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) has declared his intention to stand as surety for the embattled Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who is facing trial over his alleged involvement in money laundering. Counsel to Maina, Chief J. K Gadzama (SAN) made the disclosure at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday, where Maina is standing trial. The former pension boss had, since October 25, 2019, remained at the Kuje Correctional Centre over his inability to perfect some of the conditions the Federal High Court gave for his release on bail.

However, at the resumed trial yesterday, Maina, through Gadzama, told the court that Senator Ndume eventually agreed to stand surety for him. Gadzama said in view of the development, his client, decided to withdraw an appeal he lodged before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to challenge his bail conditions.

He, however, begged the court to waive the aspect of the conditions that would require Senator Ndume to tender the Certificate of Occupancy of the property he intends to submit for the bail of the defendant. Gadzama told the court that Ndume acquired the said property from one Lawal Ahmed, whom he said recently died after he contracted Coronavirus. He said the lawmaker, in a bid to prove that the property now belongs to him, tendered an irrevocable Power of Attorney that was issued to him by the deceased and duly verified by the FCT Administration. “My Lord, in principle, he has met the bail condition. The only reason why we have this unfortunate situation that he is still being incarcerated is that the court stressed that the C of O must be submitted.

But he has tendered the Power of Attorney. “We are asking my Lord to temper justice with mercy. “It will be the joy of this court to see the defendant/ applicant enjoying his bail. The court will not be joyful that there is a mockery of its order granting bail to the Defendant,” Gadzama pleaded, adding that his client’s health had deteriorated. The prosecution counsel, Farouk Abdullah, filed a counter-affidavit to oppose Maina’s variation request. After listening to both parties, Justice Abang adjourned ruling on the application till June 29.

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