The former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has faulted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for declaring him wanted based on an alleged order by the judge of a Federal High Court, Abuja, Gabriel Kolawole.
The EFCC had on Monday declared Mr. Maina wanted for his alleged role in the fraudulent biometric contracts in which himself and former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, and two others were accused of stealing over N2billion of pension funds.
EFCC also said Mr. Maina was on July 21, 2015 charged alongside Messrs. Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on a 24 count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretense.
“While Oronsaye and two others were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, Maina had been at large,” EFCC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.
EFCC also said when the court heard the bail applications of the accused persons, Mr. Maina through his counsel, Esther Uzoma, told the court that he was not at large, and said that the EFCC had never invited him.
Consequently, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, pleaded with the court to prevail on the accused’s counsel to produce Mr. Maina in court as the Commission had no clues as to his whereabouts.
EFCC said the court granted Mr. Rotimi’s prayers, “Yet Maina continued to shun court proceedings, leaving the Commission with no option than to declare him wanted”.
Ms. Maina’s counsel, Ms. Uzoma, in a statement Tuesday in Abuja said she had made an appearance on July 21 to protest the EFCC’s claim that her client was on the run, when no charge had been served on him, saying the decision was against the letters of the law.
“The EFCC should come clean on the matter of my client, Dr. Abdulrasheed Maina. When I appeared before His Lordship, Justice Kolawole on July 21, I made it clear that the EFCC was yet to file any charge as well as serve any summons on Dr. Maina.
“It is trite law that you cannot say an accused is on the run when there is no charge preferred against him or any invitation extended to him.
“During the hearing for the bail application, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN, wanted the court to direct me to produce Maina in court at the next sitting which I argued that there are clear procedures, which the EFCC is familiar with and should follow.
“Naturally, the court agreed with my submission on the position of law. Therefore, it is misleading for the EFCC in its statement of Monday to mislead the public that there exists an order for Maina to be produced in court when there is no invitation extended to him talk-less of a charge preferred against him by the commission,” Mr. Uzoma said.
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