Alleged N100bn Fraud: Maina’s ill health stalls trial

Abdulrasheed Maina in court
Abdulrasheed Maina in court

The trial of the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, was on Tuesday stalled due to his ill health.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Maina had pleaded not guilty to the 12-count charge of N100 billion pension fraud brought against him.

He is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious accounts and other fraudulent activities.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, officers of the Nigeria correctional facility approached the court with an enveloped letter containing a medical report issued by a doctor with the facility, Idowu Ajayi.

The judge, Okon Abang, after reading the content of the letter asked the prosecutor and defendants counsel if they are aware of Mr Maina’s ill health.

Their answer was negative.

Following this, Mr Maina’s counsel asked the court for a week adjournment to enable his client to get better.

The prosecutor, Mohammed Abubakar, then asked the court for an order directing the deputy comptroller of Nigeria correctional facility in charge of medicals to personally examine the defendant to ascertain his true state of health.

In a short ruling, Mr Abang held that a medical report cannot act as an order to stay proceedings.

He noted that the doctor who claimed to have examined the defendant did not include a time the defendant was supposed to have recovered.

The court, therefore, ordered the deputy comptroller of the Nigeria correctional facility in charge of medicals and welfare to examine the defendant.

The court adjourned to November 7 for continuation of trial.

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