The Federal High Court in Abuja, has issued Senator Ali Ndume 21 days ultimatum to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, who has been absent from over 10 scheduled trial sessions since September this year.
Justice Okon Abang, who is the presiding judge, issuing the ultimatum, threatened that Ndume who is Maina’s bail surety, could be detained should he fail to produce the defendant in court on November 18.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Ndume, separately urged the court to order Maina’s arrest. But presiding judge said that he could not order Maina’s arrest without ordering the detention of his surety, Ndume.
“I am more inclined to giving the Senator three more weeks to find and produce the defendant in court”.
Although Maina`s supporters were seeing carrying placard accusing the judge of bias in the handling of the trial on the walls of neighbouring buildings around the court premises, even in Maina has been absent from court since resumption of his trial, September 29. He is being prosecuted by the EFCC on money laundering charges involving N2bn
Ndume, Senator representing the Borno South Senatorial District where Maina hails from, had on October 2, 2020, told the court that he could no longer find Maina.
In response, the prosecuting counsel, Farouk Abdullah, told the judge that Maina had jumped bail, saying the commission’s independent investigation showed that the defendant was not on admission at the hospital where he claimed to be receiving treatment.
But Maina, in a video clip circulated on different online platforms, said he had not absconded from his ongoing trial but was suffering from knee injuries, that he would not appear in court until he was certified healed by his doctors.