A Federal High Court yesterday foreclosed Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT)’s righttofileano-case submission. Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, then ordered Maina to open his defence.
Justice Abang held that Maina has had adequate time andfacilitytomakehisno-case submission but failed to do so. He adjourned the matter until January 26 and January 27 for Maina to open his defence.
Earlier, Maina’s counsel, Anayo Adibe, said he will be calling 24 witnesses. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maina had, on December 9, said he would be filing a nocase submission since all the evidence brought against him by the EFCC were insufficient to establish a prima facie case against him.
However, on the adjourned date, Adibe told the court that he was yet to be given record of proceedings from the day Maina was arraigned to enable him defend his client and while the sitting was ongoing, the ex-pension reformed boss collapsed in the courtroom.
He noted that though the matter was adjourned for him to present the no-case submission, he would not be able to continue as planned because the record of proceedings of the court had not been given to them by the court registrar. He, therefore, asked for an adjournment to enable them get the request for him to make theno-casesubmission.
However, the EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, who disagreed with Adibe, said the application for an adjournment and the reason given were“nothingbutadelay tactic which also amounts to an applicationforstayof proceedings.” Abubakar, who cited a relevant section of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and a Supreme Court authority, urged the court to reject the defence prayer.
Besides, the lawyer argued that though Maina was in court, there was a valid and subsisting order of the court for the matter to proceed in his absence “That decision has not been set aside by this court or superior court.
There is also no pending appeal against that decision,” he said. He said the subsequent apprehension and production of Maina in court pursuant to the bench warrant had not receded the decision of the court for the matter to continue in his absence.