A former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTM), Abdulrasheed Maina, and his son, Faisal, are to remain in Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja, till January 2020.
Justice Okon Abang, who gave the order, on Wednesday, adjourned hearing on the ex-pension task team chief’s bail variation application till January 13, 2020 while Faisal’s trial was adjourned till January 20, 2020.
Earlier on Wednesday, Justice Abang had said that though it would not be convenient for the court to take trial, bail variation arguments would be taken.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, however, said he was ready for trial continuation and that the next witness was in court.
On his part, Abdulrasheed’s lawyer, Mohammed Monguno, reminded the court of the pending application for bail variation filed on December 6.
Abubakar therefore urged the court to adjourn the hearing on the bail variation application because the defence had just served on him its further affidavit the same day.
“We apply that the hearing be adjourned to enable us to react to their further affidavit,” he said.
Monguno, who described the motion as “simple application,” said the call for the adjournment was to delay the proceeding.
The defence counsel added: “We were the ones who filed a further affidavit in response to their counter affidavit.
“We urge Your Lordship not to grant their prayer because it is an attempt to delay this matter.”
The counsel to Maina’s company, Common Input Investment Limited, Deborah Apete, adopted the submission of Monguno, saying “the motion is ripe for hearing.”
Abubakar, in his argument said that Maina’s application was brought relevant to the provision of ACJA and 1999 constitution.
He, however, said there was no provision in ACJA or the constitution that precludes ones from filing further counter-affidavit in reaction to a further affidavit filed by the applicant.
He said: “What the first defendant filed was a further and better affidavit.
“Section 36 of 1999 Constitution affords us the right to file further counter-affidavit.”
Abubakar said Maina’s application was filed on December 17 but they deliberately served him December 18 in order to deny EFCC the right to fair hearing by way of responding to the further and better affidavit.
“We urge Your Lordship to discountenance the learned senior counsel’s plea,” he added.
Justice Abang acknowledged that he had already signified intention to take the application.
He, however, said that there was no provision of ACJA stopping the prosecution from filing further counter-affidavit
“What is fair is fair in both civil and criminal proceeding,” he stated.