The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has produced a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abulrasheed Maina, for Friday’s proceedings of his trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Maina, who is being prosecuted by the EFCC on N2bn money laundering charges, had jumped bail and fled to Republic of Niger.
He was extradited to Nigeria on Thursday about two weeks after the court revoked his bail, ordered his arrest and directed that his trial would proceed in his absence pending when security agencies would be able to apprehend him.
He was produced in court at about 8.27 am ahead of the proceedings scheduled to commence by 9 am on Friday.
He sat between two EFCC operatives in the courtroom.
Maina last attended court in July and has subsequently missed up to six court sessions since September 29.
His trial has since proceeded in his absence following the court’s order of November 18, 2020, which the judge, Justice Okon Abang, issued following the defendant’s repeated absence from court.
Unable to produce the defendant, his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, was imprisoned by the court but later granted bail after spending five days in detention.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the remand of Abdulrasheed Maina at Kuje Correctional Centre pending the conclusion of his trial.
At the resumed trial on Friday, the counsel representing Maina, Adaji Abel formally withdrew and the counsel engaged by Mr Maina asked for a short adjournment to enable him to study the facts of the case.
Justice Abang granted the application for adjournment on the ground that the defendant who is presumed innocent is entitled to legal representation.
He subsequently adjourned the case to the 8th of December for a continuation of trial.