PENSIONS FRAUD CASE: MAINA PLANNING TO KILL US AND OUR WITNESSES, PROSECUTOR TELLS COURT

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

The prosecution in the criminal case involving former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has alleged that the defendant was plotting to kill them.

It urged a Federal High Court in Abuja, before who he is being tried, to revoke the bail granted Maina to protect the prosecution witnesses and the lawyer.

The allegation is contained in a motion on notice filed by lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar.

It the motion, Maina allegedly plotted to assassinate the EFCC witnesses and officials of Nigerian Correctional Services to escape from custody.

On why the court should revoke the bail granted Maina, the prosecution argued “that the first defendant/respondent (Maina), who was granted bail by the court since November 26, 2019 (though he is still in custody), has perfected plans to assassinate prosecution witnesses and counsel in this matter.

“The first defendant/respondent perfected plans to escape from custody and abscond, and in the process assassinate Nigerian Correctional Service officials attached to him.”

The prosecution added that there was need for the court “to protect the witnesses, counsel and officers by keeping the first defendant/respondent in custody during the pendency of this criminal matter as well as provide additional/maximum security around him while in custody, pending conclusion of trial”.

The court, on January 28, 2020, varied Miana’s bail conditions, following his complaint that he could not meet the terms of the bail granted him on November 26, 2019.

Maina later returned to the court with another application for a further variation of the bail terms on the grounds that he has been unable to get a serving Senator to stand as surety for his release.

Maina’s lawyer, Joe Gadzama (SAN) sought a brief adjournment to enable him respond to the prosecution’s motion.

He equally urged the court to hear the two applications – the one seeking the revocation of Maina’s bail and the other praying for a further variation.

Although Abubakar argued that his motion was ripe for hearing and was listed for that purpose on Wednesday, Justice Okon Abang said it was convenient for the court to take both motions together since they relate to Maina’s bail.

Justice Abang adjourned till March 16, 2020