24 November 2020 By Victoria Abah
The Federal High Court in Abuja has commenced the trial of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, in his absence.
Maina, who is being prosecuted alongside a firm on a 12-count money laundering charge, had last attended court on July 2, during the cross-examination of the sixth prosecution witness by his legal team.
Owing to the development, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, at the resumed hearing urged the court to foreclose Maina’s right to cross-examine the sixth prosecution witness.
The court granted the request and held that the Defendants, by their absence, waved their rights to either cross-examine the witnesses or to challenge exhibits tendered by the prosecution.
Trial Judge, Okon Abang also gave EFCC, the nod to tender more evidence against Maina, whose decision to jump bail made the court to remand his surety, Senator Ali Ndume in the Kuje Correctional Center
EFCC had alleged that the ex-Pension boss used fictitious names to open and operate various bank accounts as well as recruited his relatives that were bankers to operate fake bank accounts through which illicit funds were channelled.