Money Laundering: Court Orders Sen Ndume To Produce Maina Within 21 Days

The Federal High  Court in Abuja has given Senator Ali Ndume, who is representing Borno South, 21 days, to produce the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina who has failed to appear for the continuation of his trial on money laundering charges

Maina is facing a 12-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and a firm, Common Input Properties & Investment Limited.

Recalled that Maina spent over seven months at the Kuje Correctional Center before the court released him on bail after Senator Ndume agreed to stand surety for him.

EFCC alleged that he used account of the firm and laundered funds to the tune of about N2 billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.

EFCC has already opened its case and called witnesses that included bankers and Maina’s relatives, who testified and tendered exhibits in evidence before the court.

Ever since then the Defendant had failed to appear in court for his trial, even as the prosecution alleged that he has jumped bail.

Which Senator Ndume had on October 2 when the matter came up for a trial, informed the court that he does not know the whereabouts of the Defendant. Likewise, at the resumed proceedings on Monday, the lawmaker, lamented before the court that all his efforts to locate the 1st Defendant proved abortive.

Ndume begged the court to issue an arrest warrant to enable security operatives to track down and apprehend Maina.

He said he was willing to forfeit his own freedom to ensure that Maina is arrested and produced before the court.

Addressing the court after he was interrogated about Maina’s whereabouts on Monday, Ndume said: “My lord, I understand that the defendant is in Abuja and I did all I can to locate him without any definite result.

“My lord, I am constrained because I cannot take the law into my hand. “I had reported to the DG, DSS, the AIG of Police Investigation; I even wrote to the police commissioner and I also reported the case to DPO of Jabi where the defendant resides.

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“But my lord, even if I see Maina today, I can’t force him to come to court. I am appealing to you to issue a warrant on him.”

Trial Justice Okon Abang then reminded Ndume that the legal implication of such an arrest warrant is that he would also be remanded in custody pending when Maina is apprehended.

“I don’t mind my lord. My concern is to have him in court so that I can continue my life,” Ndume responded.

Besides, Ndume told the court that he was pressurized to stand surety for the Defendant by three former governors, saying: “Orji Kalu when he was in prison then, Joshua Dariye, former governor of Taraba, Rev. Jolly Nyame, all appealed to me in the prison to assist him.”

“It took me eight months my lord to take that decision. In fact, I have to be given an indemnity by his uncle; signed by me, him and a lawyer that Maina would always be in court.

“He guaranteed but since that day, I went to Maitama Hospital to check their record, I went to Abuja Clinic, I went to the house he is purported to be living in Jabi, Abuja.

“This is one of the professional hazards we face as lawmakers, representing the good, the bad and the ugly. “If I was not a serving senator, I wouldn’t have a course to stand as surety,” Ndume added.

He decried that Maina who claimed to be ill had recently released a video clip which went viral on social media about his state of health but refused to make himself available.

“I am helpless before you my lord. I appeal that such innocent citizens like me holding a public office for over one million people should not be subjected to this,” Ndume appealed.


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