Ali Ndume, Senator representing Borno South Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Monday July 19, asked to be discharged as a surety for former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina in his ongoing trial.
Ndume in his application, said he could no longer stand as surety for Maina after he jumped bail and fled the country, amid his trial for N2bn money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before a court.
Maina was released on bail from the correctional service centre on July 27, 2020, nine months after he was arraigned. His release on bail was made possible following Ndume’s resolve to stand as his surety after the lawmaker used his Abuja property’s title documents worth N500 million as bail bond in compliance with some of the bail conditions.
Ndume’s Lawyer, Marcel Oru urged Justice Okon Abang to grant his client’s application following the rearrest of Maina. He noted that though there was a pending appeal challenging the far-reaching terms of the surety bond, the appeal had nothing to do with the substantive case in court.
When Justice Okon Abang raised the issue of whether the court has the jurisdiction to hear the application since he said an appeal has been entered, Oru responded by saying that the court wouldn’t have jurisdiction but in the prevailing circumstances, Maina has been rearrested and is currently standing trial before the court. Thus, he was of the view that the court can hear the application.
While EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar argued his notice of preliminary objection, stating that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the application, Oru maintained that the decision of the Court of Appeal in either ways will not affect the application as Maina has been rearrested and his application before the Federal High Court is only a fallout of the arrest.
The case was adjourned to October 4 for a ruling on the notice of preliminary objection.