The Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) has opposed the plan by Sani Katu, SAN, counsel to Abdulrasheed Maina, Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Process Staff (PRTT), to withdraw from the continued trial.
On Wednesday, the EFCC counsel, Farouk Abdullah instructed Justice Okon Abang of the Federal Excessive Court docket, Abuja, to reject the oral utility by Maina’s counsel on the bottom that it did not adjust to related part of the regulation.
Katu notifying the court docket of his intention to withdraw from the trial mentioned: “I’ve come to hunt from this honourable court docket to particularly withdraw from this trial.”
Nevertheless, EFCC counsel opposed the prayer, saying the senior counsel in making his request did not adjust to Part 349(8) of the Administration of Legal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
“My lord, the defendant has a constitutional proper to a counsel of his selection and a counsel in a matter may withdraw at any time he deems match.
“My solely reservation is with the non-compliance with Part 349(8) of ACJA 2015.
“In view of the non-compliance of senior counsel with the supply of extant regulation on withdrawal of counsel, we ask the court docket to refuse the appliance and direct that the enterprise of the day be achieved,” he mentioned.
Katu, acknowledging that the part of the regulation supplies that an utility for notification to withdraw needed to be made to the court docket not lower than 3 days earlier than listening to, mentioned he had a dialogue with the prosecution counsel “off document” on the difficulty earlier than the sitting.
He, subsequently, requested the court docket for a brief adjournment as a way to file essential papers in compliance with the regulation.
Responding, Abdullah mentioned the regulation doesn’t give the court docket the avenue to make use of its discretionary energy on such matter.
“The operative phrases: ‘shall notify the court docket’ is necessary to rob the court docket of the discretion to direct in any other case.
“We, subsequently, urge the court docket to discountenance his utility for adjournment,” he mentioned
In his ruling, Justice Abang, who held that “what’s off document is just not earlier than the court docket,” mentioned the appliance for adjournment lacked advantage and doesn’t adjust to Part 349(8) of ACJA
The choose additionally famous that Katu’s withdrawal was to compound the problems earlier than the court docket and to carry the court docket to ransom.
Maina and his firm, Frequent Enter Restricted, are underneath trial by the anti-graft company on expenses bordering on cash laundering to the tune of N2.1 billion.