Court forecloses possibility of granting Maina bail

Published February 26, 2021

Friday Olokor , Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday dismissed the second bail request filed by the former chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abulrasheed Maina , saying the application lacked merit .
He is to remain in prison throughout his trial for the alleged N 2 bn fraud charges filed against him by the Federal Government .
Maina , who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , is standing trial for alleged money laundering .
Justice Okong Abang held that Maina , who fled Nigeria after he was granted the first bail , could no longer be trusted .
The judge described Maina , who was rearrested in Niger Republic and extradited to Nigeria by the International Police , as “ a flight risk .”
His lawyer , Sani Katu ( SAN ) , had last Friday prayed the court to grant him the second bail on the grounds of ill -health.
But the prosecution counsel , Mohammed Abubakar, objected on the grounds that the defendant could not be trusted again having jumped the first bail .
Justice Abang said, “ The court is and was not in a position to ascertain whether the first defendant collapsed in court or fell down on his own .
“ The law is settled that it is at the discretion of the court to grant bail to a defendant whether he has jumped bail or not.
“ Maina is not only a potential flight risk , but a proven flight risk .
“ The court is not inclined to take risk the second time . As for the medical report tendered, the first defendant is not in any health emergency .
“ The defendant cannot flout an order of court and expect to be granted bail . I think the Federal Government of Nigeria is capable of attending to the medical needs of the first defendant’s purported ailment . The application lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed . ”

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