Escape to Niger: Maina to remain in prison until end of trial

Justice Okong Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, ordered the remand of ex-chairman, Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina in prison custody till the end of his trial.

The judge also adjourned hearing until December 8, 2020 upon application by a new defence counsel, Adaji Abel.

“The defendant is already on bench warrant, his bail having been revoked, so he shall be remanded in a correctional service, pending conclusion of trial,” he said.

The order followed Maina’s escape to Niger Republic, where he was arrested by the International Police (INTERPOL).

He was extradited to Nigeria on Thursday.

In court, the new defence counsel applied for adjournment to enable him familiarize himself with the case.

Reacting, M. S. Abubakar, prosecution counsel, opposed the application.

He argued that the ninth prosecution witness (PW9), Rouqayyah Ibrahim, an EFCC detective, was in court to continue her evidence-in-chief.

But Abang said Maina is entitled to his constitutional rights under Section 36 of 1999 Constitution, especially the rights to fair hearing.

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“I am inclined to accommodate the counsel for the first defendant in the overall interest of justice”, Abang held.

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