Court Declines Maina’s Adjournment Request

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Court Declines Maina’s Adjournment Request
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected the request by Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, for an adjournment to prepare for his defence.

The preceding judge, Justice Okon Abang held that the request was intended to waste the judicial time of the court.

Justice Abang had on December 4, 2020, adjourned the N2bn money laundering case till Tuesday (today) based on a request by Maina’s new lawyer, Mr Adaji Abel, who solicited for more time to enable him to prepare for the case.

The judge also ordered Maina to be remanded in prison after the defendant was extradited to Nigeria following his alleged jumping of bail.

Mr. Farouk Abdullah, Economic Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecuting counsel, was about to invite the ninth prosecuting counsel, Rouqquaya Ibrahim, to continue her testimony during the Tuesday sitting, when the defence lawyer raised an objection.

Maina’s lawyer said the defence had applied for the court’s record of previous proceedings via a letter sent to the court’s registry but had yet to be given by the court registry.

He said the records were needed by the defence to continue with the case.

The prosecuting counsel, Abdullah, opposed the application for adjournment, saying Maina had been given the opportunity to defend himself but failed to utilise it.

Ruling, Justice Abang noted that Maina had not been appearing in court since the matter resumed on September 29, until when he was returned to court on December 4 after he was arrested based on the arrest warrant issued by the court.

Justice Abang added that Maina’s right to a fair hearing was not breached as he had on his own jumped bail, and the trial had continued in his absence before he was arrested and brought back to court.

He ordered the prosecution witness to continue her evidence-in-chief.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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