‘Ill-Health’ Stalls Maina’s Trial In Alleged N2bn Fraud Case
The trial of the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reforms Task Team (PRTT), Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, in an alleged N2 billion fraud has suffered a setback.
Maina’s trial was stalled on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Abuja due to his sudden ill-health and confinement to bed rest by a medical expert.
He is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on 12 counts bordering on alleged N2 billion pension fund fraud, money laundering, and operating fictitious bank accounts among other fraudulent activities.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, an officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service stormed the court with a medical report issued by a doctor with the Service, Mr Idowu Ajayi.
Justice Okon Abang, who read the letter in the open court, agreed that anybody can fall sick.
He was, however, displeased that the medical doctor who authored the letter failed to give a specific period the defendant would be confined to bed rest.
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The Judge wondered why a medical expert would write such a letter without indicating the specific time Maina would be on bed rest, adding that the action of the doctor was a ploy to stop the court from the trial of the defendant.
He accused the doctor of not helping the court in a shoddy manner the letter was written and its tone that suggested that the defendant would not be able to stand trial for a long period.
In his reaction, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar, prayed for an order of the court compelling the Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, being a medical doctor, to carry out a comprehensive examination on the health status of Maina.
He also prayed the court for an order that the prison chief must make his report available to the court on the adjourned date to actually ascertain the health issues.
Maina’s counsel, Francis Oronsaye, however, pleaded with the court to adjourn the trial for one week to enable his client to recover fully.
In his ruling, Justice Abang said that the request for a one-week adjournment cannot be granted.
He, therefore, ordered the Deputy Comptroller General of the Service in charge of Medicals and Welfare to examine Maina.
The Deputy Comptroller-General was directed to report back to the court on Thursday, the date slated for the continuation of Maina’s trial.
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