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Pension Boss, Maina's Kinsmen Ask Justice Abang To Hands Off Case ~Omonaijablog


The Kinsmen of former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, have asked Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja to hands-off from presiding over the case in the interest of justice and fairness.
Maina is being prosecuted by the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegation of fraud, abuse of public office and money laundering amounting to N2billion.
He was arraigned on October 25, 2019 on a 12-count charge.

Specifically, the EFCC alleged before the court that Maina abused his position as Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team by awarding fictitious contracts for purported biometric enrollment of pensioners, an offense that is punishable under Section 317(read in conjunction with section 316) of the Penal Code Act, Cap532, vol. 4, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, 2007.
After Judge's vacation, Maina's case was to resume on the  29th and 30th of September, 2020.

Following his absence on the two dates, the kinsmen in a statement, said Justice Abang frowned at the development, despite the fact that their brother had tendered a medical report from Maitama District Hospital through his lawyer, showing that he is critically ill.

In view of this development, the kinsmen through their spokesman, Aliyu Maina have accused Justice Abang of being biased in his treatment of the suit filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
While stating that it is only a healthy person that can face his trial alive, they said "a careful observation of the proceedings so far clearly reveals that the trial judge has descended into the arena of conflict", noting that on several occasions, Justice Abang had brazzenly teleguided the prosecution team on how to conduct their case in the open court to the detriment of the defence party.

Apart from the allegation of tailoring the trial to the huge advantage of the EFCC, they accused the judge of making several prejudicial statements in the open court against the ex-pension boss in a manner that suggests a preconceived judgment.
The group further stated that they are of the firm view that the judge would not approach the continued trial with an open mind as his mind is already made up on the case, adding that they have not forgotten in a haste how the judge handed herculean bail conditions on Maina, thereby prolonging his incaceration at the Kuje correctional centre.

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