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Court orders Maina’s arrest, his trial in absentia

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the arrest of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, adjudged to have jumped bail regarding his trial involving N2bn money laundering charges.

Justice Okon Abang made the order in Wednesday’s ruling in which he also revoked the bail earlier granted the fleeing defendant.

He ordered all security agencies in the country to arrest Maina “wherever he may be found” and produce him in court, “without delay”.

The judge also ordered that the defendant’s trial would proceed in his absence pending when the defendant would be produced in court.

He made the orders following the applications by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecuting counsel, Mr Mohammed Abubakar.

The court agreed with Abubakar, who cited sections 184 and 352(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, to back his prayers, That the absence of Maina from the proceedings of September 29, 30, October 2, and 19, 2020 as well as Wednesday without any reasonable excuse was enough reasons to make the orders.

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“He cannot hold the court at ransom,” the judge said.

He fixed November 23 for Maina’a surety, Senator Ali Ndume, to appear in court to show cause why he should not be remanded in prison and forfeit his N500m bail bond pending when he would be able to produce the defendant.

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