Alleged N2.1bn Fraud: Court set date for Ex-PRTT Boss Abdulrasheed Maina To Know His Fate | SEE DATE
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday fixed November 8 for judgment in the alleged N2.1 billion fraud suit filed against the Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on October 25, 2019, arraigned Maina alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd before the judge.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the 12-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
At Friday’s sitting in the court, Anayo Adibe, counsel to Maina prayed the court to give the defence more time to file their final written addresses, after the dismissal of their August 6 motion, praying the court to reopen his client’s case to allow them to call their witnesses.
Maina’s lawyer said he made the plea in the interest of a fair hearing and the interest of justice.
Counsel to the EFCC, Farouk Abdullah objected to call for another adjournment by Maina’s lawyer. He argued that during the last adjourned date (on July 16), the court gave a specific order that final written addresses of all the parties would be heard.
He said almost three months after, Maina’s counsel could have complied with the order but failed to do so and now seeks an adjournment.
“The defendant cannot dictate to this court how to conduct business. We are opposed to the application for adjournment. If it pleases my lord, may we proceed on the adoption of our final written address”, Abdullah said.
The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang in a short ruling closed Maina’s right to file a final written address and ordered Abdullah to adopt his final written addresses.
The judge held that the defendant had denied themselves to be heard and not the court.
“They cannot dictate to the court when to file their written addresses and no material is placed before the court to seek for an adjournment in their favour” he held, adding that Maina’s counsel only adopted a legal strategy to further delay the trial.
He subsequently adjourned the case for judgment on November 8.