*Insists his doctors, not court, constitution will determine that
By Ralph Christopher
The Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has said he will resume his trial only when his doctor gives him a clean bill of health.
Maina, who claimed to be suffering from knee injuries, spoke in a recorded video clip which went viral on Thursday.
The about six-and-a-half-minute-long video clip showed him fielding questions from an unseen “journalist” who claimed to have embarked on an “independent investigation” to verify if Maina had jumped bail as being speculated in the media.
Maina was shown lying in a bed as he fielded questions, with his son, Faisal, who is also being prosecuted for separate charges, seated beside him.
The left knee, which he claimed was injured, was not shown in the clip.
Maina, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly laundering N2bn, has been absent from court on seven consecutive occasions since September 29, 2020 when his trial was scheduled to have resumed.
He has been enjoying his freedom since then and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation appear unperturbed.
On October 2, Borno South Senator Ali Ndume, who stood surety for Maina to enable him to get bail, told Justice Okon Abang that he could no longer find the defendant.
But Maina, who was in hiding for about two years before he was rearrested by the EFCC last year (after the operatives narrowly escaped being killed by Maina’s sin who pulled a pistol in them before he was overpowered and disarmed), said however in the video clip that he had not absconded from his on-going trial.
Asked when he would resume his trial, he said, “The doctors are here. You need to ask the doctors. But what they told me was that I would need six to seven weeks for recovery.”
But when asked further if he was ready for his trial, he said, “Of course I am ready, as soon as I am healed.”
“They told me that the next knee cap, they may not be able to do it here,” Maina added.
Asked to respond to specific allegations that he had jumped bail, Maina said, “You have done your independent investigation. You were able to get my location.
“Now you have seen me. You have seen the situation and you are able to tell whether or not I am running away from my trial.”
Maina also alleged that the judge had in the course of the trial shown bias against him, citing an occasion when the judge asked him to stop gazing at him.
He said, “My lawyer asked him why, and he said ‘I don’t want him to look at me because I have a wife and children, and I want them alive’. Does that suggest that looking at him would kill his wife and children?”
Maina has remained one of the most controversial Nigerians since he was appointed to head the Presidential Task Force.
He is also known to be the most controversial civil servant in the country, having surreptitiously been reinstated and promoted, an act that led to the sacking, blackmail and prosecution of a former Head of Service of the Federation, who was supposed to be his boss.