[UPDATE] Alleged N2bn pension fraud: Maina falls in court

• As judge adjourns till Dec 21 to take arguments on argue no-case submission 

The former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina on Thursday fell off the chair during his trial in the 12-count charge slammed against him by the Federal Government before a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The former pension boss collapsed at exactly 10:05 am when his counsel, Anayo Adibe was making submissions, to the effect that he could not move the no-case application for his client on Thursday as he was unable to get a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the records of proceedings from the day his client was arraigned.
 Adibe had begged the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang for an adjournment to enable him to get the record of proceedings of the court in the matter to enable him to prepare for the no-case submission he intends to file on behalf of his client.
The court was about reacting to his request when suddenly, the former pension boss fell-off the chair he was seated close to the dock, causing pandemonium in the court, making the court to rise abruptly to enable officials of the Correctional Service to attend to him.
It took the intervention of medical personnel from the court before Maina was revived, but could not return to the courtroom for continuation of the trial when the court resumed sitting after about an hour.
However, in a bench ruling, Justice Abang said, it was un-ethical for Maina’s counsel to ask for an adjournment, when the court had, turned down such request on two occasions.
“The primary duty of Adibe is to assist the court to do justice and not to compound issues for the court. His duty to his client is secondary,” the judge stated.
According to Justice Abang, the letter by Maina’s counsel, dated December 7, 2020, to the Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) of the court, requesting for the CTC of the record of court proceedings, with the name of the trial judge on it instead of the court number was intended to humiliate him.
He said the move by the 1st defendant was intended to delay proceedings in the matter, adding that Adibe ought to have made enquiry as to the readiness of the records of proceedings, saying that the records of proceedings from the start of the matter are ready for collection if Adibe had asked for them after his letter to the DCR of the court.
The court then adjourned till December 21 and 22, 2020 for Maina to present his no-case submission.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting the matter had, on Wednesday closed its case after its ninth prosecution witness concluded her testimony in the matter.

Maina, along with his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on money laundering charges involving the sum of N2 billion of pensioners’ fund.

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