Court orders Ndume to be remanded in Prison over Maina’s trial
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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the remand of Ali Ndume, the senator representing Borno South in Kuje Correctional centre over the trial of Abdul-Rasheed Maina, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT).
Okon Abang, the trial judge made the order on Monday following a repeated failure of Maina to appear before the court to continue his trial in the alleged pension fund fraud.
Earlier in June, Ndume had stood as surety for Maina’s bail but has hitherto failed to provide him for the court hearing. Abang had also given Ndume 21 days ultimatum to produce the defendant or face the consequences.
On Monday, during a bench ruling delivered by Abang, the court ordered his remand pending the fulfilment of his bail bond, which is a forfeiture of N500 million to the federal government.
Abang also gave permission to the federal government to sell Ndume’s property at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million bond.
The judge added that Ndume will be released from Kuje once he pays the N500 million or the prosecutor is able to sell the property and the payment is made into the account of the federal government.
Following his absence, Maina’s trial in absentia was adjourned to November 24.
Ndume had reportedly said his decision to stand as surety for Maina’s bail was because the former pension fund chairman happens to be a member of his constituency.
“It took me over six months to agree to be his surety. First, the bail condition requires a serving Senator and I happen to be the one,” said Ndume.
He added that Maina’s health condition was deteriorating and he was in urgent need of special medical attention.
“Secondly, his health condition is deteriorating and needs special medical attention. “Thirdly, his offence is bail-able and lastly I am not saying the court should discharge and acquit him. If he is guilty, he will be sentenced.
“It was a hard decision I had to make. I have a duty to represent the good, the bad and the ugly of Borno South. May Allah guide us to the right path. Ameen,” he added.
Maina was arranged on a 12-count charge, bothering on money laundering, operating fictitious bank accounts but he pleaded not guilty to the charges.