Maina Pleads Not Guilty As EFCC Arraigns Him, Son

A photo combination of Maina and his son in court on Friday, October 25, 2019. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

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Abdulrasheed Maina has pleaded not guilty to the 12 charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) is being arraigned today alongside his son, Faisal, who is a final year Telecommunications Engineering student in a Dubai University.

The case is currently being heard at a Federal High Court in Abuja. The Judge presiding over the case is Justice Okon Abang while the Prosecutor is Mr M. Abubakar. Mr Ahmed Raji is representing Abdulrasheed Maina.

Maina and his son were arrested on September 30, 2019, at an Abuja hotel by the Department of State Services (DSS) and subsequently handed over to the EFCC on October 2 for further investigation and prosecution on allegations of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2.1 billion.


10:58 am:

Maina pleads not guilty to the 12 charges preferred against him by the EFCC.


11:01 am:

In the light of his plea, the prosecutor asks the court to proceed to trial, but the defendants counsel argues that there is a pending bail application filed since October 22 which is due for hearing.

He says the EFCC had earlier granted him administrative bail and the conditions were honoured.


11:07 am

The Prosecutor in response says the issue of bail being argued by the defendant amounts to jumping the gun as he applied for the matter to proceed straight to trial having served the parties with the hearing notice to enable them appear in court prepared for trial.

So, the issue of bail does not arise at the moment. He admits receiving the notice of bail application filed by the defendant but refused to respond to it because it is incompetent and whenever a competent bail application is filed, he will vehemently oppose it.


11:12 am

The Prosecutor argues that the bail application is incompetent because it was filed before arraignment.


11:15 am

He submits that the application filed on the 22nd of October, 2019 on behalf of Abdulrasheed Maina is incompetent and should be struck out.


11:21 am

Lawyer to Maina, counters that the prosecutor cannot orally attack or impugn a summons for bail before a court.

He insisted that an objection of this nature ought to be in writing to enable the defense team respond appropriately.


11:28 am

On the issue of proceeding straight to trial, Ahmed Raji argues that in line with section 36 (6b) of the 1999 constitution as amended, a defendant is entitled to adequate time to prepare for his defense more so since there are 4 volumes of the charges running into 500 pages of each volume, the defendant needs time to prepare his defense.

He claims that the EFCC has only allowed him to speak with his client just once for seven minutes since the charges were filed.

So the defendant needs time to consult with his lawyers. He says he will be unfair to his client to proceed straight to trial when there has not been room for adequate preparation.

The lawyer must be given room to interact with the defendant but claims that the seven minutes he had with Maina was done standing in the presence of EFCC operatives.


12:05noon

The Prosecutor argues that the bail application is incompetent because it was filed before arraignment.

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