The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, opposed the application by Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-Chairman, Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), for further variation of his bail conditions.
Counsel to the EFCC, Farouq Abdullahi, told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the application was unmeritorious.
Earlier, Counsel to Maina, Joe Gadzama, SAN, had prayed Justice Abang to take Maina’s motion for variation of his bail terms before continuation of his trial.
No sooner had the judge granted the request than Gadzama hinted that his client had met all the bail conditions ordered by the court except one.
He told the court that Sen. Ali Ndume had decided to stand as surety for the ex-Pension boss.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC had, on Oct. 25, charged Maina and his son, Faisal, before the court alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd.
Although Maina is charged with 12-counts bordering on money laundering, he had, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Justice Abang had, on Jan. 28, varied Miana’s bail conditions, following his inability to meet the bail terms granted him on Nov. 26, 2019.
Abang reduced Maina’s bail condition from N1 billion to N500 million with a surety in the like sum who must be a serving senator as opposed to the earlier order of producing two serving senators.
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 Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse II, Katampe or Central Business Districts of Abuja, with Certificate of Occupancy attached as evidence.
Abang also ruled that the senator though would always come to the court at every adjourned date, only needed to come and sign a court register that would be opened at the registry, among other terms.
However, Maina had been unable to get a senator as surety for his release.
Gadzama, while presenting another motion before Justice Abang for further bail variation of the defendant, on Tuesday, said the motion was dated June 10 and filed same date.
“The application was filed pursuant to Sections 158, 165, 167, 168(b), 173, 492(3) of ACJA (Administration of Criminal Justice Act) and Section 35, 36 of the constitution.
“We have attached affidavit comprising 20 paragraphs sworn to by Laila Abdulrasheed Maina, his wife.
“We have several attached Exhibits from A to G2. We have a written address in support and I adopt the written address as our argument,” he said.
The lawyer said his client was grateful for the earlier bail granted him.
“We came back again, the honourable ourt granted a variation, reducing two senators to one.
“But the applicant could not meet the condition,” he said.
According to him, in a desperate move to get freedom, we filed an appeal at Court of Appeal.
“He was able to get Senator Ndume who agreed to stand as surety.
“We now withdrew the appeal by filing notice of discontinuous (Exhibit E),” he said.
Gadzama said since they could not come for bail variation with a pending appeal, “So we withdrew this from Court of Appeal to clear the coast.”
According to the lawyer, the 1st defendant has met all the conditions except one which is that the surety must have a certificate of occupancy to cover the landed property.
He told the court that Ndume had submitted a certificate of occupancy to cover the property but that the certificate was in the name of the original owner, one Lawan Ahmed.
“It is in the name of Lawan Ahmed but the owner of the property today is Senater Ali Ndume who purchaed it from Ahmed,” he said.
The counsel explained that there was an irrevocable letter of attorney (Exhibit G2) signed by the Director of Land in the FCTA, Mr G. Bawa, and addressed to the registrar of Federal High Court to back the claim.
“The power of attorney is irrevocable; the donor cannot get it back.
“That is why it is as good as the certificate of occupancy in this situation, it supercede the cert