The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, refused to hear a fresh bail application filed by former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Ahmed Mohammed, the vacation Judge, refused to hear the bail application which was moved by Maina’s counsel, Mr David Iorhemba, on the grounds that it was contentious.
Andrew Ocholi, Counsel to the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, opposed the application, saying he had filed a counter-affidavit and a preliminary objection to show that Maina was no longer entitled to bail.
Justice Mohammed in his ruling held that the application was contentious and as such could not be heard during the court’s vacation.
The judge returned the case to Justice Okon Abang, who has been the trial judge in the substantive case, to hear the bail application after the court’s vacation.
The former PRTT boss is being tried alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, on a 12-count charge.
They are accused, among other offences, of laundering over N1 billion.
They were first arraigned on October 25, 2019, following which Justice Abang ordered that Maina be remanded in the Correctional Centre at Kuje, pending hearing of his bail application.
After perfecting his bail conditions, Maina was released from the correctional centre in July but had his bail revoked on Nov. 18, 2020, on the grounds that he jumped bail.
He was rearrested and returned to court where the court ordered that he be returned to the custody of the correctional centre in Kuje until his trial was concluded.
Following his re-arrest, his lawyer, Mr Francis Oronsaye, withdrew from the case while his new lawyer, Mr Anayo Adibe, filed another bail application.
Justice Abang, however, in a ruling on February 28, refused to grant the application on the grounds that it was without merit and that Maina failed to place sufficient materials before the court to convince it that he deserved another bail.
The judge held that Maina did not deserve to be admitted to bail again after violating the conditions of the bail granted him earlier.
He adjourned the matter until Oct. 4 when the court would resume from its vacation.