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Maina To Remain In Custody As Court Rejects Fresh Bail Application

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to hear a fresh bail application filed by the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed declined to hear the bail application filed by Maina’s lawyer, David Iorhemba, on the ground that it was contentious.

He ruled that the matter could not be heard during the court’s vacation and consequently returned the case to Justice Okon Abang who has been the trial judge in the substantive case, for hearing on the application when the court resumes from vacation.

Earlier in his argument, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Andrew Ocholi had opposed the application filed by Maina, saying he had filed a counter-affidavit and a preliminary objection to show that the applicant was no longer entitled to bail.

Maina is standing trial alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited over a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering of over one billion naira, among other offences.

The ex-pension boss was first arraigned on October 25, 2019, after which Justice Abang ordered that he be remanded in the Correctional Centre at Kuje, pending a hearing of his bail application.

He was subsequently released from the correctional centre in July after perfecting his bail conditions.

However, his bail was revoked on November 18, 2020 on the grounds that he jumped bail and was rearrested.

Upon his rearrest, he returned to court where the court ordered that he be returned to the custody of the correctional centre in Kuje until his trial was concluded.

With the development, his lawyer, Francis Oronsaye, withdrew from the case while his new lawyer, Anayo Adibe, filed another bail application.

However, in a ruling on February 28, Justice Abang refused to grant the application on the grounds that it was without merit and that Maina failed to place sufficient materials before the court to convince it that he deserved another bail.

He held that Maina did not deserve to be admitted to bail again after violating the conditions of the bail granted him earlier and later adjourned the matter until October 4 when the court would resume from its vacation.

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