The Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC), on Wednesday, urged the Federal Excessive Court docket, Abuja to not put aside its order of Nov 18, 2020, in opposition to Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Group (PRTT).
Counsel to the EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, instructed Justice Okon Abang to reject Maina’s request on the bottom that it was made to delay justice in his trial.
The ex-pension reform boss had, in an interlocutory injunction movement dated Feb 9 and filed Feb 10, urged the court docket to put aside its Nov 18 order that his trial proceeds in absentia.
Recall that after Maina jumped bail, the court docket, on Nov 18, 2020, revoked his bail and ordered his arrest wherever he was discovered.
The court docket additionally granted the EFCC’s request that his trial within the fraud prices is performed in his absence.
After his arrest and subsequent manufacturing in court docket on Dec 4, 2020, Justice Abang once more made an order that Maina be remanded in jail till the listening to and closing dedication of his matter.
Nevertheless, Maina, in separate functions, requested bail on medical grounds and for the setting apart of the order for his trial to proceed in his absence.
On the resumed listening to of Maina’s interlocutory injunction, his counsel, Anayo Adibe, stated although his shopper was not in court docket, the movement might be heard in his (Maina’s) absence in step with Part 266(b) of Administration of Prison Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
The EFCC’s lawyer, Abubakar, didn’t disagree with Adibe.
Shifting the movement, Adibe stated he sought the order of the court docket setting apart the sooner order that the trial continues in Maina’s absence.
He stated the request was a really innocent software as a result of the order sought to be put aside was one which ordinarily ought to lapse.
”The explanation for our bringing this software is that the first defendant (Maina) having been rearrested, the order that the trial continues in his absence ought to lapse.
“That is so as a result of it has been overtaken by occasion and as such, the authorized essence of this software is to deliver the proceedings of the court docket going ahead inside the parameters of the Provision of Part 36 of the structure,” he stated.
The lawyer stated that was why he didn’t ask that the court docket units apart earlier proceedings in Maina’s trial.
Adibe stated the applying introduced asking the court docket to recall the EFCC’s witnesses, who had testified earlier than he took over the case, was withdrawn.
“That’s the reason we submit that setting apart of the order sought to be put aside ought to take impact from the day it was put aside; the day the applying was made,” he stated.
The lawyer, who stated Abubakar misconstrued the aim of the applying, urged the court docket to grant his request within the curiosity of justice.
However Abubakar, who knowledgeable the court docket that an 8-paragraph counter affidavit dated Feb 22 was filed alongside different processes, urged the court docket to not grant the plea.
He argued that the additional affidavit filed by Maina and his reply on the purpose of legislation had all confirmed the anti-corruption company’s depositions within the counter affidavit.
However this isn’t what this movement is praying for and never what the bottom nobody upon which the reduction is made.
He stated Maina’s prayer within the movement paper asking the court docket to put aside the order made was at variance along with his lawyer’s argument.
“I submit that on the face of the movement paper, the first defendant applicant (Maina) is praying the court docket to put aside the order made to listen to the case of Maina in absentia.
“Granting the prayer is tantamount to setting apart all of the proceedings performed by this court docket within the absence of 1st defendant applicant,” he stated.
Abubakar, who reminded that on Dec 10, 2020, Maina feigned sickness earlier than the court docket, stated if the Nov 18 order subsisted, it could make sure that his trial was not stalled in such circumstance.
“On Dec 10 in the midst of continuing, Maina feigned sickness and staged a drama earlier than the court docket.
“In such circumstances much like what occurred, the order of the court docket made on Nov 18 will nonetheless be helpful in order that the matter can proceed in his absence by advantage of the subsisting order of Nov 18,” he stated.
The EFCC lawyer additional stated that Maina’s first reduction that the court docket ought to vacate its order that he be stored in jail pending the listening to and closing dedication of the matter was an abuse of the court docket course of.
“Such reduction is incompetent; the first defendant having filed a movement for bail and argued earlier than this court docket which software has been adjourned for ruling,” he stated.
However Adibe urged the court docket to discountenance all arguments by Abubakar.
“I need to draw the eye of the court docket to Part 352 of ACJA Subsection 4. It’s the basis upon which the order sought to be put aside was made.
“The principal phrase in that provision is the absence of the defendant. However the defendant is not absent and as such, the order ought to lapse.
“We additionally submit that the submission of Abubakar as to setting apart, various or discharging an order are all semantics.
“The court docket is a court docket of justice, not a court docket of technicalities,” he stated.
Adibe, who stated what occurred on Dec 10, 2020, when Maina slumped within the court docket was factual, prayed the court docket to ignore Abubakar’s submission.
“We urge your lordship to strike out his submission because it relates with the quote of the drama that performed out in 2020.
“No matter occurred in 2020 was factual; if he desires to make a declare on that, he ought to depose to an affidavit.
“His failure to try this rendered that submission as untenable and ought to be discontented by the court docket.
“Lastly, prayer 4 on our movement paper is an omnibus prayer which provides the court docket the ability to make applicable order based mostly on each case current earlier than the court docket,” he stated.
Justice Abang, who adjourned till Feb 25, stated a ruling could be delivered on all three functions, together with the bail plea filed by Maina.