Categories: On the GoThe Nation

Maina to remain in prison as senators refuse to stand as sureties

Bolanle Olabimtan

Afam Osigwe, counsel to Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), says senators are reluctant to stand as sureties for his client.

Osigwe made this known during the ongoing criminal trial of his client at the federal high court, Abuja, on Thursday.

Okon Abang, the presiding judge, had asked the defence counsel whether Maina has been able to perfect his bail conditions.

Responding, he said: “Unfortunately, senators are reluctant to stand in for Maina.”

He said they are trying to explore other strategies to ensure that the bail conditions are fully complied with.

Maina was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 12 counts of money laundering in October 2019.

He was granted a N1 billion bail with two sureties in like sum. The judge had held that the sureties must be serving senators with no criminal case pending in court and must own landed properties in Maitama or Asokoro, Abuja.

The judge added that the senators must attend proceeding at every date fixed for trial.

Unable to meet the conditions, the former PRTT chairman appealed to the court to vary the bail conditions.

Following the defendant’s plea, the judge reduced the bail sum to N500 million and ordered Maina to produce one surety with a landed property fully developed in Asokoro, Maitama, central business district, Wuse II or Katampe in Abuja.

He said the surety must be a serving senator with no pending criminal case. He must also accompany the defendant to court at all trial dates and must sign an attendance register which would be opened for that purpose.

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