Federal High Court Revokes Abdulrasheed Maina’s Bail, Issues Bench Warrant
The court had, on Nov. 25, 2019, admitted Maina to a bail in the sum of N1 billion with two sureties who must be serving senators.
The judge ruled that the two sureties, who must be prepared for a N500 million bond each, must always be in court with the defendant at each adjourned date.
He added that the sureties should not have a criminal case pending in any court and must have landed property fully developed in Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse II, Katampe or Central Business Districts of Abuja, with Certificate of Occupancy attached as evidence.
He also ruled that the senators though would always come to the court at every adjourned date, the lawmakers only needed to come and sign a court register that would be opened at the registry, among other terms.
The judge said the conditions were hinged on the anti-corruption agency’s allegations that Maina had multiple international passports and that prior to his arrest, he sneaked into the country from Niger Republic, among others.
But due to his inability to meet the bail terms, Justice Abang, on Jan. 29, further varied the bail conditions.
Sen. Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District where Maina hails from, decided to depose to an affidavit to always bring him to court at every adjourned date or forfeit the N500 million bail bond.
However, after Maina’s release, he had been absent from court since the trial resumed on Sept. 29, even though Ndume was always in court.
The senator had, on Oct. 2, told the court that he did not know Maina’s whereabouts.
At the resumed trial on Wednesday, the EFCC’s Lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, said though the matter was for further cross examination of PW6, “in view of the absence of the 1st defendant (Maina) in court, we apply that the matter should proceed in his absentia.”
“This application is brought pursuant to Section 352(4) of ACJA 2015.
“It our humble submission that from this provision, there are only two conditions to be met for the grant of the application.
“First, the defendant who is absent from court is on bail and he is absent without reasonable explanation .
“Secondly, there shall be two court sittings without the presence of the defendant and without reasonable explanation,” he said.
Also, Agbo prayed the court to give Ndume another opportunity to make arrangement for his legal representation.
In his ruling, Justice Abang, said it was disheartening that Joe Gadzama, SAN, who represented Maina earlier was not in court to see that the defendant he canvassed for had jumped bail.