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Maina to court: I’ve still not found a senator to stand as surety

Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), has again told a federal high court in Abuja, that no senator is willing to stand as a surety for his release.

At the resumed trial on Thursday, Afam Osigwe, Maina’s counsel, informed the court of an application seeking a further variation of his client’s bail conditions on grounds that they have been unable to fulfill them.

“My Lord, we hinted the court about the difficulty we have had in finding a senator as surety,” he said.

“And without appearing to be stretching the court, we filed a further variation for the conditions of bail of the first defendant and we have served the prosecution with a copy.

“We plead that it should be heard today.”

Osigwe prayed the court to lessen the bail terms to enable them perfect Maina’s release.

He said Maina has not been able to find Nigerian senator who owns a fully developed property in Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse II, Central Business District or Katampe Extension, and is willing to stand as surety with a N500 million bail bond.

Osigwe also added that the court order which stated that the senator must accompany the defendant to court at all trial dates and must sign an attendance register is too stringent for them to meet.

“The applicant will be able to find a reasonable surety, not being a senator or member of the house of representatives, permanent secretary, directors in the civil service at federal or state level, who will be willing to enter into a bond for such lower sum as the court may direct,” Osigwe said.

However, Okon Abang, the judge declined to hear the application, asking the defence to wait for the previously fixed March 6 date to hear the bail variation plea.

On January 28, the judge had reduced Maina’s bail condition from N1 billion to N500 million. He also ordered Maina to produce one surety with a landed property fully developed in Asokoro, Maitama, central business district, Wuse II or Katampe in Abuja.

Maina was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 12 counts of money laundering in October 2019.

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