Former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina on Tuesday suffered a setback in his quest for bail as a federal high court in Abuja refused to entertain his application.
The court’s vacation judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed declined to hear a fresh motion for bail after it was introduced by Maina’s lawyer, David Iorhemba.
While Iorhemba spoke about his client’s bail motion, lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Andrew Ocholi said he filed a counter-affidavit and preliminary objection to show that Maina is not entitled to bail any longer.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed noted that the motion was contentious and as such could not be heard during the court’s vacation.
The judge elected to return the case to Justice Okon Abang’s court, where the case is originally being heard, for the consideration of the new motion for bail after the court’s vacation.
Maina is being tried along with his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd on a 12-count charge in which they are accused, among others, of laundering over a billion naira.
They were arraigned on October 25, 2019 following which Justice Abang ordered that Maina be remanded in Kuje prison
He was later released from the prison in July upon meeting his bail conditions.
On November 18, 2020, Justice Abang revoked the bail granted Maina on the ground that he had jumped bail.
He was later arrested in the Niger Republic and returned to court last December during which the court ordered that he be returned to Kuje prison, pending the conclusion of his trial.
Upon his return to prison, lawyer to Maina, Francis Oronsaye withdrew from the case and a new lawyer, Anayo Adibe filed another bail application, which Justice Abang, in a ruling on February 28, 2021, rejected on the grounds that it was without merit.
Justice Abang held that Maina did not deserve to be granted bail again after jumping an earlier bail.
The judge added held that Maina failed to place sufficient materials before the court to convince it that he deserved another bail.
Before the court’s vacation, Justice Abang adjourned further hearing in the case till October 4 this year.
Rather than await the next date fixed by the trial judge, Maina took the fresh motion for bail before another judge, who is sitting as the court’s vacation judge.