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Alleged pension fraud: Maina plots to assassinate me, others, EFCC lawyer tells court



Mohammed Abubakar, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, alleged that Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), planned to assassinate him in the ongoing trial.

Abubakar also alleged that Maina plotted to assassinate the EFCC witnesses and officials of Nigerian Correctional Services to escape from custody.

He told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a motion on notice to seek revocation of Maina’s bail.

Giving the grounds why Maina’s bail should be cancelled, Abubakar argued “that the 1st defendant/respondent who was granted bail by the court since 26th November, 2019 (though still in custody) has perfected plans to assassinate prosecution witnesses and counsel in this matter.

‘That the 1st defendant/respondent perfected plans to escape from custody and abscond; and in the process assassinate Nigerian Correctional Service officials attached to him.”

Justice Abang had, on January 28, varied Miana’s bail conditions, following his inability to meet the bail terms granted him on Nov. 26, 2019.

Maina, who had pleaded with the court to further vary the already varied bail terms, insisted that he had been unable to get a senator to stand as surety for his release.

Responding to his plea, Abubakar told the court that there was “need to protect the witnesses, counsel and officers by keeping the 1st defendant/respondent in custody during the pendency of this criminal matter as well as provide additional/ maximum security around him while in custody pending conclusion of trial.”

“That when the 1st defendant/respondent was arrested preparatory to his arraignment before this court, his son who was with him was found to be in illegal possession of firearm and the son, Faisal, physically attacked the security officers arresting his father to resist the arrest or free his father.

“That consequent to the above, Faisal Maina is currently being prosecuted by the Nigeria Police Force for the offences stated in ground (d) above,’ he added. 

However, Counsel to Maina, Joe Gadzama, SAN, prayed for a brief adjournment, to enable him respond to the prosecution’s objection.

He also prayed the court to hear the two applications together on the announcement date. 

However, Abubakar insisted that his application was ripe for hearing since it was listed for the day.  

Justice Abang, in his ruling, said that it was convenient for the court to take the application seeking to further vary the bail conditions and the application seeking to revoke the bail together since they were related to the liberty of Maina, who was still in detention.

He adjourned until March 16 to take the arguments of the parties in the suit.

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