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Court orders arrest of Maina’s son, to try him in absentia

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Abulrasheed Maina

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, revoked the bail he granted to Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT).

He also issued a bench warrant against him and ruled that his trial will continue in his absence.

The younger Maina, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a three-count charge of money laundering and false declaration of assets was admitted to bail on November 26, 2019 in the sum of N60 million with one surety in like sum.

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The surety, the judge ruled, must be a Nigerian and a serving member of the House of Representatives from any of the six geopolitical zones of the country.

This saw Honourable Sani Umar San Galadima, representing Kaura Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, volunteer as his surety.

Today’s ruling was sequel to an application brought by prosecution counsel, M. S. Abubakar, asking that Faisal Maina’s bail be revoked, a bench warrant be issued against him and for his trial to continue in absentia.

He also urged the court to cause his surety to show why his N60 million bail bond should not be forfeited to the federal government for failure to produce the defendant in court.

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Abubakar noted that the defendant has neither been present in court, nor sent a legal representation since November 26, 2019 when he was granted bail, and had given no reasonable excuse for his action.

In granting all the prayers, Justice Abang stated that the federal government shall execute the bench warrant anywhere Faisal Maina was sighted and that his trial in absentia shall take place after two adjournments or as the court may deem fit.

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Regarding his surety, Justice Abang held that the court in the spirit of fair hearing would give Honourable Galadima, the opportunity to state why he failed to produce the defendant in court and therefore, ordered that a summon be issued to him to appear on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 to show cause why he should not forfeit his N60 million bail bond to the federal government. He would face a bench warrant if he fails to appear.

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