The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday varied the bail conditions of Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT).
Justice Okon Abang, who gave the ruling, admitted Maina to bail condition in the sum of N500 million with a surety in the like sum who must be a serving senator.
The judge ruled that the surety, who should not have a criminal case pending in any court, must have a landed property fully developed in either Maitama, Asokoro, Katampe or Central Business Districts of Abuja with certificate of occupancy attached as evidence.
Justice Abang also ruled that the senator though would always come to the court at every adjourned date, the lawmaker only needed to come and sign a court register that would be opened at the registry.
“And the registrar must sight the surety before going back to attend his legislative proceedings,” he ruled.
Earlier, Justice Abang had noted that with the facts placed before the court, the application of the defendant ought not to have been granted.
“But in the past few adjournments, I watched the conduct of the defendant.
“He is calm and has not interrupted the proceedings of the court. Maybe he has realised that the court is bound to do justice in the case.
“I am inclined, though, reluctantly to vary the bail conditions in this matter,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Justice Abang had, on November 26, admitted Maina to a bail in the sum of N1 billion.
The judge, who gave the ruling, also ordered that Maina must produce two sureties who must be serving senators.
The two lawmakers, according to the judge, must not be standing any criminal trial in any court in the country and must have landed property at Maitama or Asokoro area of Abuja.
He also ruled that the two sureties, who must be prepared for a N500 million bond each, must always be in court with the defendant at each adjourned date.
However, Maina had been unable to meet the bail conditions.
Maina’s counsel had, on December 6, applied for the variation of the bail conditions.
However, the judge, on December 18, 2019, adjourned the hearing on the bail variation application till January 13.
On January 13, the judge again adjourned the hearing till January 14 and after the proceeding, he adjourned to deliver ruling on the matter on January 23.
Justice Abang had, on Monday, adjourned the ruling on the bail variation application till January 28 due to heavy workload on the court.
The judge had, on January 23, been unable to rule on the bail variation plea by Maina.
Maina is being charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering, among others. (NAN)