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Court adjourns hearing in Maina’s assets forfeiture suit till April 1

Security agents found $1.7m cash in Maina’s Niger Republic home

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned hearing in the asset forfeiture case involving the ex-Chairman of the Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, till April 1.

Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo, who fixed the date, said the adjournment was in the interest of justice.

The court had on October 22, 2019, granted an interim forfeiture order of 23 assets linked to Maina, following a motion filed by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar.

EFCC alleged that the properties – houses, estates, and companies – were proceeds of corruption.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbajo had also ordered that the assets be placed on newspaper publications for 14 days “for interested parties to show cause why the properties should be forfeited to the Federal Government permanently.”

However, Maina and other parties in the matter had after the expiration of the 14 days, filed applications to show cause why the final forfeiture order should not be made.

The other parties are – Laila Maina, Bimatec Nigeria Limited, Faisal Maina, Abdullahi Aliu and Yagaji Aliu and the Estate of the Late Alhaji M. Usman.

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The applicants, through their lawyers, Evelyn Dele and Anayo Adide, had filed an application for extension of time on the interim order.

In her argument, Maina’s lawyer, Dele, argued that her client was in detention when the forfeiture order was granted and that by the time he got the information in the dailies, the 14-day period had elapsed.

But EFCC’s counsel, Abubakar, told the court to dismiss the application, arguing that the applicants did not give genuine reasons to warrant the extension.

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