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Breaking: Senator Ndume remanded in prison for failing to produce Maina in court

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Senator Ali Ndume being led out of the courtroom by an official of the Nigerian Correctional Service, after he was remanded in custody by the Federal High Court in Abuja for failing to produce ex-Chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina for trial on money laundering charge.

For failing to produce the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, in court as his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, has been remanded in Kuje prisons (Correctional Centre).

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered that the Ndume be kept behind bars having sworn to an affidavit of means on May 5 to pay the N500 million bail on Maina’s head, should the defendant jump bail.

Maina is facing a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and a firm, Common Input Properties & Investment Limited.

EFCC alleged that he used the account of the firm and laundered funds to the tune of about N2 billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.

Maina was remanded for more than seven months at Kuje Correctional facility before the court released him on bail on July 24, after Senator Ndume agreed to stand surety for him.

He had since September 29, refused to appear before the court for continuation of trial.

In a ruling, Justice Okon Abang said the court had on four different dates given Ndume the opportunity to show cause why he should not be remanded in custody or made to forfeit the bail sum to the Federal Government because of the continued absence of Maina.

Abang noted that though Ndume had on November 18 pleaded for an adjournment to enable him to file necessary processes to defend himself, he failed to do so.

According to the Judge, instead of filing processes, Ndume wrote a letter to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court, requesting for seven documents that included the entire record of proceedings in the matter.

The court held that EFCC’s application for Ndume to be remanded in custody and for him to forfeit the bail bond succeeded.

Relying on Section 179 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the court ordered that Ndume should be remanded at Kuje Correctional facility pending when he forfeits the N500 million bail sum to the Federal Goverment as he earlier agreed.

In the alternative, the court directed the government to sell off a property situated at Plot158, Cadastral Zone AO2, Asokoro, which belongs to Ndume.

It said the property should be sold for the bail sum, with full payment made into the federation account. The court said the third alternative was for Ndume to produce Maina in court for continuation of his trial.

Abang ordered that Ndume should remain in detention, pending the fulfilment of any of the conditions.

The case was adjourned untill Tuesday for Maina’s trial to continue in absentia.

At the last adjournnent, the court had issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Maina.

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