Court decides whether to reopen Maina defence on Friday

Abdulrasheed Maina the Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team whose son Faisal was jailed 14 years on Thursday has asked the same court to reopen his own defence.

Maina is standing trial on six count charge for allegedly laundering N2bn before same court that convicted his son. The court  had in the absence of defendant counsel closed his defence  on July 16, 2021, he claimed.

When the matter resumed on Thursday, October 7,  for the parties to adopt their final written addresses the defendant lawyer Anayo Adibe prayed the court to allow him move his application seeking to reopen the defendant defence

Moving the application Adibe said that the application is seeking to set aside the order of the court made on July 16, that closed the defendant defence. The application is so seeking  to reopen  Maina’s  defence in the interest of fair hearing and justice, he said.

The application was brought pursuant to Section 36 )(4)(6) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)and it was supported with 13 paragraphs affidavit where in the deponent stated that the counsel was not served with the hearing notice for July 16, 2021.

His contention drew  the attention of the trial court judge who called for the record of service . After a careful perusal of the record, the judge said there was a prove of service. 

 But the counsel said he placed reliance on the affidavit that show that the hearing notice was not served on the address provided by the defendant counsel at Awolowo Way Abuja but instead in served wrongly on a different chamber in Jabi. He claimed he was at the federal high Court same day on another matter and never knew that matter came up.

“We therefore in the interest of fair hearing urge the court to grant this application and reopen the 1st defendant defence,” he said.

But in response to the judge question, Adibe said that to the best of his knowledge the defendant has not appeal the court earlier decision  that the case be heard in his absence when Maina  joined bail.

Reacting to the application , Mohammed Abdullahi counsel for the Prosecution vehemently opposed the application to reopen the 1st defendant defence.

He said that  defendant ought to appeal the ruling if he was dissatisfied. He urged the court to dismissed the application and order the defendant counsel to proceed to adopt written final  address.

Justice Okon Abang reserved his ruling till  October 8, 2021.