By Alex Enumah
Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday refused a request by Mr. Ademola Adedipe, counsel to Common Input Property and Investment Limited to withdraw from representing the company in the trial involving former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abulrasheed Maina.
Maina, and his company, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, are standing trial on a 12- count criminal charge bordering on alleged money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
Although Maina had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail in the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum, his bail was however revoked last week and order for his arrest issued following his alleged jumping of his bail.
The court also while revoking Maina’s bail, ordered the continuation of his trial in absentia.
On Tuesday’s proceedings, the court closed Maina’s cross examination of the 6th prosecution witness and foreclosed the cross examination of the same witness owing to the absence of the defendants’ lawyer in court without any reason.
However, at yesterday’s sitting, Adedipe informed the court that he had filed an application seeking the court’s permission to withdraw from the case.
While apologising for his absence from the previous proceedings, he said he was withdrawing from the case because his brief had not been perfected by the second defendant.
Responding, trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, held that the request cannot be granted because his said application was yet to arrive the court’s file.
He subsequently adjourned till December 4 for continuation of trial.