Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday ordered that Senator Ali Ndume be remanded in prison for failing to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) who he stood surety for.
The judge also said he should forfeit the N500 million bail bond which was deposited when he stood surety for Maina.
The ruling followed an application of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to the effect that the bail granted Maina, who is facing a 12-count charge of operating fictitious bank accounts, corruption, fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2 billion, should be revoked as a consequence for continuously failing to appear in court.
Maina, as noted by prosecution counsel, M.S. Abubakar has been absent in court for four consecutive times while his surety, Senator Ndume has been helpless in bringing him to court for trial, sometimes on account of unsubstantiated claims of ill health from his counsel.
Abubakar further noted at today’s sitting, that, “The first defendant was released on bail condition by this honorable court but in disregard for this court, he has absented himself on four occasions. On all these occasions, the court ruled that the absence of the first defendant has no reasonable excuse.” He therefore prayed the court to revoke Maina’s bail, issue a bench warrant against him and for him to be tried in absentia.
Drawing from his request for the bail revocation, Abubakar further asked that Maina be made to forfeit his N1billion bail bond, while his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, should forfeit his N500 million bail bond and to be remanded in prison custody for failing to provide Maina as required in the bail bond.
It could be recalled that the court on October 2, 2020, gave Ndume a 21-day grace period to produce Maina in court, which expired today, without any success from him. He, however, formally applied for adjournment to enable his counsel make intervention on his behalf.