N2bn fraud: Judge, Maina’s absence stalls corruption trial

The absence of the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang and a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, yesterday stalled the ongoing trial before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. The Federal Government is prosecuting Maina over alleged N2 billion money laundering charge.


The trial was scheduled to continue yesterday, but it could not go ahead. Maina’s absence from court was the fourth in a row since September 29 when the defendant’s trial was scheduled to resume in the court’s new legal year.


The prosecuting and defence counsel were however present in court yesterday.


Maina’s bail surety, Senator Ali Ndume, who had last Friday, told the court that he could no longer find the defendant, was also present in court. But the trial could not go on because of the absence of both the judge and the accused. Counsel and parties present in court had waited for over an hour before a court official announced that the judge would not be sitting.


The official said the judge was indisposed, adding that he had been instructed to have all cases on the cause list, including that of Maina till today




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