The embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abulrasheed Maina, on Friday, begged the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, to grant him bail once again.
THE WHISTLER earlier reported that Justice Okong Abang of the court had ordered that Maina be remanded in a correctional centre pending the conclusion of his money laundering trial, after faulting him for jumping his first bail and fleeing to Niger Republic.
He was later extradited back to the country by a coordinated security team, after the judge had ordered his arrest while his trial continued in absentia.
But on Friday, Maina’s counsel, Sani Katu SAN prayed the court to grant him a second bail on the grounds of ill-health.
He promised that Maina, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), would abide by all terms and conditions of his bail.
“My lord, the applicant is in custody of the Correctional Services, and he has made an averment to satisfy the condition for the grant of his bail, with a specific undertaking that he will not jump bail if the court is so magnanimous in granting him bail once again.
“My lord, in the interest of justice…grant this application particularly on the grounds of ill-health which is practically evident in the posture of the applicant.
The defense also argued that the correctional centre does not have adequate medical facility to treat his client, and that he wanted his client to be attended to in a good hospital in Nigeria.
But the prosecution counsel, M.S. Abubakar, objected, adding that the former pension Chief cannot be trusted based on his antecedents of disobeying court orders.
“My lord, he wants the court to grant him another bail on medical grounds but our opposition is on two fronts; the first is that looking at the antecedents of the first Defendant in jumping previous bail granted by this court, he cannot be trusted with another bail for the second time.
“Also, the second front of our opposition is that the first Defendant has not shown to this court that whatever sickness he is suffering from cannot be taking care of by the prosecution respondent while he is in custody,” he said.
He also contended that the Federal Republic of Nigeria was capable of attending to all the medical needs of the defendant within its medical facilities in Nigeria.
“Even to a lay man, the first defendant is not suffering from any ailment of emergency nature, he was successfully treated by the Hospital in Gwagwalada…,” he added.
On his part, Justice Abang said ” I shall deliver ruling in respect to this Application on February 25.”