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Court to deliver judgment in Maina son’s money laundering trial October 4

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, fixed October 4 for judgment in the trial of Faisal, son of the Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The judge had initially fixed October 2 for ruling in the trial.

At Friday’s proceedings, he told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, and Faisal’s lawyer, A. A. Onoja, that he had realised that October 2 falls on weekend (Saturday).

He then called for the case file and adjourned the matter till October 4 for judgment.

Faisal, who is being prosecuted alongside his father, Maina, is standing trial on a separate three-count charge of money laundering.

The defendant, who was arraigned by the EFCC on October 25, 2019, was granted bail on November 26 same year.

However, Faisal jumped bail in September 2020 and stopped attending his trial.

When the case was called by the judge on Friday, Abubakar told the court that the matter was slated for the adoption of the final written address on December 10, 2020.

READ ALSO: EFCC opposes move by Maina’s lawyer to withdraw from trial

However, Onoja applied for a short adjournment on the grounds that he was not briefed on the development.

“I apply in the interest of justice for a short date to adopt our written address,” he said.

Justice Abang, who recalled that the court had on November 24, 2019, ordered the matter to be heard in Faisal’s absence, noted that the defendant’s right to open defence was later foreclosed and matter adjourned.

“The matter was later adjourned to May 18 for the adoption of the final written address and for four months, the defendant did not file anything until now,” he held.

The judge, who dismissed the application for adjournment, said such request was made in bad faith.

“Therefore, the application for the prosecution to adopt his written address deserves to succeed and is hereby granted,” he ruled.

The EFCC counsel then adopted the written address as the commission’s argument in the matter and urged the court to convict Faisal in all the three counts leveled against him.

Justice Abang, therefore, adjourned the matter till October 4 for judgment.

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