On Friday, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the indictment of former Chairman of the Pension Reforms Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, in custody.
Justice Okon Abang allowed the ruling following a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the ex-PRTT chief pleaded not guilty to the 12 counts filed against him.
The court also ordered the indictment of Maina’s son, Faisal, into the custody of the Police Special Technical Squad in Abuja.
Mohammed Abubakar, who was the lawyer for EFCC said Faisal was being investigated by the police for possession of an illegal firearm and for supposedly using the firearm on operatives when they were trying to arrest his father.
Maina and his Son were accused differently before the court on similar but different charges.
While Maina is facing 12 counts of money laundering and fraud, his son, Faisal is facing three counts of receiving money known to be from unlawful proceeds under a false bank identity.
Both Father and son pleaded not guilty. After taking his plea, Abubakar prayed the court to allow the prosecution to call his first witness for commencement of trial.
The defence counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), while objecting to the commencement of trial sought to move a formal bail application for Maina.
After listening to the parties, the judge said it would amount to a lack of fair hearing if the trial commenced without adequate preparations by the defendant.
Although there was a little confrontation between the judge and Maina, when the judge told Maina not to look directly into his eyes, as it made him comfortable.
Justice Abang said, “I’m not comfortable with the way the defendant is looking into my eyes, I’m frightened. Registrar, please tell the defendant not to look at my face.”
The judge consequently adjourned till October 30 for trial and November 19 for suitability of the bail application filed before arraignment.
Maina was given 10 days to file and serve his written address on the prosecution, 10 days to reply.
Read also: Court remands Maina’s Son in Police custody
With the way Maina’s case went , the defence quickly withdrew the earlier bail application filed before Faisal’s arraignment.
Justice Abang consequently struck it out and fixed trial for November 6.