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Court fixes date to deliver judgment in ‘N2.1bn fraud’ case against Maina

Court fixes date to deliver judgment in ‘N2.1bn fraud’ case against Maina
October 08
16:28 2021

A federal high court in Abuja has fixed November 8 to deliver judgment in the alleged N2.1 billion fraud case filed against Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT).

In 2019, Maina was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) — but he pleaded not guilty to a 12-count charge of money laundering.

At the court session on Friday, Anayo Adibe, Maina’s counsel, asked the court for more time to file his final written addresses, following the dismissal of the motion seeking to reopen his client’s case to allow them to call their witnesses on August 6.

Farouk Abdullah, counsel to the EFCC, opposed the call for an adjournment.

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Abdullah stressed that the defendants had ample time to prepare their final written address.

“The defendant cannot dictate to this court how to conduct business,” the prosecuting counsel said.

“We are opposed to the application for adjournment. If it pleases my lord, may we proceed on the adoption of our final written address?”

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Delivering a short ruling, Okon Abang, the presiding judge, ordered Abdullah to adopt his final written address.

The judge held that the defendants had denied themselves the opportunity to be heard and not the court.

“They cannot dictate to the court when to file their written addresses and no material is placed before the court to seek for an adjournment in their favour,” he held

Abang, who noted that Maina’s counsel only adopted a legal strategy to further delay the trial, said: “Where the strategy fails, they cannot turn around and beg the court.”

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He then adjourned the matter for judgment.

Abang had on Thursday sentenced Faisal, Maina’s son, to seven years imprisonment on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.

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