A former Chairman of Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina has been released from Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja after nine months in detention.
KanyiDaily had reported that Maina was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on October 25, 2019. for allegedly diverting public funds while he was the pension boss.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the 12-count charge bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious bank accounts and fraud filed against him by the EFCC.
After hearing the arguments of the lawyers on November 25, 2019, the judge granted Maina N1 billion bail on compassionate grounds following an application by Ahmed Raji, his lawyer.
During an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Maina’s lawyer, Mr. Adeola Adedipe said his client was released on Monday evening, July 27, 2020, after completing the necessary documents for his bail.
Adedipe said his client ought to have been released on July 24 but it was delayed due to administrative procedures.
“It was already late last week Friday so they now have a new timeline shifted at 6 O’clock. We went there and everything was done,” he said.
On why Maina had been kept in detention after Abang further varied his bail conditions on June 29, the lawyer said:
“It was also administrative. There were lapses here and there; transmission of processes from one department of government to another.”
Adedipe expressed delight over his client’s release, saying it would not only afford him the opportunity to get adequate medical attention but also enable him prepare for trial.
“We can only thank God and this is good for us because we will now have time to prepare for his defence; we will now have good conferencing on the matter,” he said.
“We will have a better perspective of what the case is all about. And this will also allow him to treat himself you know he has been very ill in order to stand the trial.”
Afam Osigwe, another counsel of Maina, also confirmed his release from the correctional centre.
“Yes, Maina came out on Monday. We have met all the bail conditions but they did not release him until on Monday,” he said.
KanyiDaily recalls that after four-year manhunt, Maina was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) at a hotel in Abuja after allegedly sneaking into the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.