Respite for Maina as Court Varies His Bail Terms

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday varied the terms of the bail granted former Chairman of the defunct Police Pension Task Force, Dr Abdulrasheed Maina.

Justice Abang varied the bail terms while delivering ruling in an application by Maina, praying the court to review the bail granted him in his alleged corruption and money laundering trial.

Justice Abang had on November 26, 2019, granted bail to Maina in the sum of N1billion and two sureties in the sum of N500million each, a condition which the defendant considered very stringent.

Apart from the sum of N500million, the two sureties must be serving senators not standing any criminal trial in any court in the country and must always be present in court with the defendant at each adjourned date of the trial.

Maina predicated his application for variation on the fact that the bail condition granted him on November 26, was stringent, excessive and impracticable” to fulfill such that not varying it, will defeat the purpose of the bail.

But in a ruling yesterday, Justice Abang held that pursuant to Section 173(2) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the court as presently constituted has discretion and jurisdiction to review and vary the bail condition.

Following the review of the former bail, Maina is to now produce one serving senator as a surety who must sign a bail bond in the sum of N500million.

In the new arrangement, the senator although would have to accompany Maina to court on any day of trial and must sign a register of attendance, he is however free to go for his normal business after signing the attendance register.

Abang added that the senator must own a developed property with statutory certificate of occupancy in Katampe, Wuse 2, CBD (Central Business District).

Maina is being prosecuted by the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegation of fraud, abuse of public office and money laundering amounting to N2billion.

He was arraigned on October 25, 2019 on a 12-count charge.