Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team has arrived in Nigeria, after his extradition from the Niger Republic.
Maina, who was declared wanted by a court of competent jurisdiction, was arrested on 30th November, this year through the collaborative efforts of the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL NCB, Abuja, and their Nigerien counterpart.
The Nigeria Police High Command on Tuesday said that it was perfecting the extradition processes of the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrashid Abdullahi Maina, who was arrested in Niamey, Niger Republic to enable him face trial in pending criminal proceedings against him.
Maina had earlier been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for offences bordering on Procurement Fraud and Obtaining by False Pretence.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, granted the request of a lawyer, Mr Ademola Adedipe, to withdraw from the N2 billion money laundering case involving Maina.
Adedipe before now had been appearing for the second defendant in the case, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, a firm said to be owned by Maina.
Maina (1st defendant) was arraigned before Justice Abang, on 25 October 2019, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his firm.
Although he is facing 12-counts bordering on money laundering, he had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Adedipe had, on 25 November, hinged his decision to quit the case on the grounds that his brief had not been perfected by his client.
But Justice Abang had turned down the application by the lawyer to quit the case.
The judge declined to grant the lawyer’s plea on the premise that the application was not in the court file.
But acknowledging the notice of disengagement with charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/258/2019 dated and filed on 25 November, Justice Abang issued an order discharging the lawyer from the case.
“Counsel having filed an application in line with Section 349(7) of ACJA 2015 to withdraw his legal representation for the 2nd defendant, the order is hereby granted,” he ruled.
However, the continuation of Maina’s trial proceeded in his absence with the ninth prosecution witness, Rouqquaya Ibrahim, an EFCC investigator, testifying against the ex-pension reformed boss.
Justice Abang adjourned the matter until 4 December for the continuation of the trial in absentia.