Maina Appears in Court after Extradition from Niger

  • To remain in prison till end of trial

By Alex Enumah

Barely 24 hours after he was brought back to the country, former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abulrasheed Maina, on Friday appeared in court to continue his trial in alleged N2 billion money laundering case.

He would however remain in prison custody till the end of his trial.

Maina and a company linked to him were last year arraigned on a 12-count criminal charge bordering on alleged money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.

He however pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail in the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum, who must be a serving Senator in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Following his release on bail mid year by Senator Ali Ndume, the former pension boss however stopped appearing in court for his trial sometimes in September, prompting the court to revoke his bail and ordered for his arrest.

Earlier in the week, Maina was reported to have been arrested in neighbouring Niger Republic and was extradited to Nigeria on Thursday.

Although the court had earlier ordered the continuation of his trial in his absence and hearing was to continue Friday without him, however, Maina was produced in court to continue his trial.

However, when the matter was called, prosecuting counsel, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, urged the court to order the remand of Maina in custody pending the determination of the case because he jumped bail.

In a short ruling, trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, granted the prayers of the Prosecution and ordered Maina’s remand at the Kuje Correctional Center pending the determination of his case.

However, the judge adjourned further proceedings till December 8, following a request by Maina’s new lawyer, Adaji Abel.

Details later…