*Issues bench warrant for his arrest, rebukes lawyers
By Ralph Christopher
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has ordered the revocation of bail granted to Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-chairman of the defunct Pension Reforms Task Team, for failing to appear for his trial.
Justice Okon Abang, who made the order, also issued a bench warrant for his arrest “anywhere he is sighted by security agencies.”
Justice Abang, in addition, issued summons on Faisal’s surety, Hon. Sani Umar Dan-Galadima, who represents Kaura Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara state, to appear before the court on Wednesday, to show cause why the bail bond should not be forfeited.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had reported that the court had, on Nov. 26, 2019, admitted Faisal to bail in the sum of N60 million with a surety in like sum, who must be a member of the House of Representatives.
Dan-Galadima had deposed to an affidavit of means, on Dec. 11, 2019, stating that Faisal will always come to court at every adjourned date and that he will produce him at anytime he is needed.
Counsel to Abdulrasheed Maina, and Maina’s firm, the 2nd defendant in the money laundering trial, on Monday abandoned the court proceeding.
Justice Abang who provides over the court where Maina is facing 12-count charge, made the remark in his ruling on Tuesday.
Recall that the EFCC had, on Oct. 25, charged Maina (1st defendant) before the court alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, on money laundering offences.
He had, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
NAN reports that Justice Abang, had, on Monday, adjourned trial shortly after the court ordered Sen. Ali Ndume, who stood as surety for Maina, to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre over his inability to produce the 1st defendant for trial.
The court also ordered that the trial should continue inspite of Maina’s absence, based on an application made by EFCC which drew the court’s attention to the several adjournment on the matter brought about by the absence of the defendants with any reasonable excuse.
It would be recalled that since the commencement of the case, some lawyers, including Joe Gadzama, SAN; Ahmed Raji, SAN; Afam Osigwe; Adeola Adedipe; Mark Agbo and Francis Oronsaye had argued Maina and his company’s case.
Although Oronsaye appeared for Maina on Tuesday, no lawyer appeared for the 2nd defendant (his firm).
At the resumed hearing Tuesday, when the Court Register called the case, no counsel represented either Maina or his firm.
The EFCC’s Lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, was however, in court. He informed the court that the matter was adjourned to Nov. 24 for further cross examination of the 6th prosecution witness (PW6), by the counsel to 1st defendant (Maina).
He said the counsel was yet to conclude his cross examination and no excuse was offered for his absence, urging the court to discountennce them and go ahead with the trial in their absence.