A federal court has foreclosed the right of Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the Defunct Pension Reform Task Team, to present a no-case submission.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered Mr Maina to begin his trial in January.
Mr Maina had on Monday asked the court to dismiss the suit and declare that he has no case to answer.
Last Thursday, during the hearing of his no case submission, Mr Maina collapsed inside the courtroom of the Federal High Court.
The hearing was abruptly suspended in order for court and prison health officials to attend to the defendant. The concern on Mr Maina’s health compelled the judge to adjourn the case till today.
Mr Maina’s lawyer, Anayo Adibe, had earlier prayed the court for an adjournment on the basis that he was yet to receive the copies of the courts record of proceedings.
He also said the defendant was not receiving adequate care at the correctional facility. He prayed the court to adjourn the case on compassionate grounds.
However, in response, the prosecution counsel said the applications were delay tactics to stall the trial.
Justice Abang, in response to the arguments of both counsels, foreclosed Mr Maina’s right to present a no case submission. He ordered the defendant to begin his defence on the next adjourned date which is now fixed for January 26 & 27, 2021.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Mr Maina before Justice Abang, on October 25, 2019, alongside his son, Faisal; and firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd.
Mr Maina is facing a 12-count money laundering charge filed against him by the EFCC.
Part of the allegations against him is that he used his firm to launder N2 billion and also used some of it to acquire properties in Abuja.
He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Mr Maina had jumped bail twice in the course of the trial. He was recently arrested in Niamey, Niger Republic, where he had fled.
Newsmen reported how a senator, Ali Ndume, was briefly jailed after he failed to provide Mr Maina, whom he had stood surety for. Mr Ndume spent five days at the Kuje correctional centre before he was granted bail.