Home Anti- Corruption Maina: Court Remands Senator Ndume In Kuje Prison

Maina: Court Remands Senator Ndume In Kuje Prison

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abu­ja has ordered the re­mand of Senator Ali Ndume at Kuje prison for failing to produce the former chair­man of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdul­rasheed Maina, in court.

Maina is being prose­cuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Com­mission (EFCC) over alle­gations of fraud, abuse of public office, and money laundering.

He was arraigned on Oc­tober 25, 2019, on a 12-count charge.

Specifically, the EFCC al­leged before the court that Maina abused his position as chairman of the Pen­sion Reform Task Team by awarding fictitious con­tracts for purported bio­metric enrolment of pen­sioners, an offence that is punishable under Section 317 (read in conjunction with section 316) of the Pe­nal Code Act, Cap 532, vol. 4, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, 2007.

He was granted bail by the court in the sum of N500 million with one surety in the like sum who must be a serving senator with owner­ship of property worth N500 million in Abuja.

However, after about six months in prison due to his inability to meet the bail conditions, Senator Ndume volunteered and stood sure­ty for Maina with a proviso to pay the Federal Govern­ment N500 million in case Maina jumped bail.

Upon his release from prison, Maina, for four con­secutive times, did not ap­pear in court.

His lawyers did not ad­duce any cogent or verifi­able reasons for his absence but had been evasive.

Ndume’s ordeal started when he told the court of his inability to locate Maina since he was granted bail.

As the deadline given to Ndume to produce Maina elapsed, he still informed the court that he did not know the whereabouts of the suspect.

In a bench ruling on Mon­day, Justice Abang ordered Ndume’s remand pending the fulfilment of his bail bond which is a forfeiture of the N500 million to the Federal Government.

The court also empow­ered the Federal Govern­ment to sell Ndume’s prop­erty at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million bail bond.

Justice Abang added that Senator Ndume would be released from Kuje pris­on once he was able to pay the bail sum to the Federal Government or if the prose­cutor was able to dispose of the property and payment made to the Federal Govern­ment.

Meanwhile, the trial in absentia of Maina begins on Tuesday, November 24.

Credit: Daily Independent

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