Senator representing Borno south, Ali Ndume has called a federal high court sitting in Abuja for an order releasing his property documents used as bail bond for Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT).
Senator Ndume requested that the court should remove him as Maina’s surety.
The senator had stood as surety for Maina who is standing trial at a federal high court in Abuja for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
Maina, however, jumped bail, went into hiding in September 2020 and subsequently left the country.
The court remanded Ndume in prison when Maina refused to appear in court.
The senator was granted bail five days after because he has a record of “good behaviour”.
Maina was later arrested in Niger Republic and extradited to Nigeria.
At the court session on Monday, Ndume through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, asked Okon Abang, the judge, to grant his application filed in December 2020, following the re-arrest of Maina.
“We are praying the court to discharge the applicant (Ndume) formally as a surety in the matter and for the documents of title that were deposited in court to be released to him, considering the fact that the first defendant, Abdulrasheed Maina, who jumped bail, has been rearrested and is in the custody of the complainant (EFCC),” he said.
When the judge asked if there was a pending appeal on the case, Oru said the appeal does not relate to the substantive case.
On whether or not the court could hear his client’s application, despite the pending appeal, the lawyer said: “Ordinarily, if the appeal has been entered, this court, as presently constituted, will not have jurisdiction to entertain the application.”
“But in the present circumstances, considering the intervening circumstances that the defendant (Maina) has been rearrested and is facing his trial before this court now, we are of the opinion that the court can hear the matter, subject to your lordship’s discretion.”
However, Mohammed Abubakar, prosecution counsel, opposed the application on the grounds that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear it because the matter was already before the court of appeal.
Abubakar added that he filed a notice of preliminary objection on December 18, 2020, and prayed the court to dismiss Ndume’s application for being incompetent.
Abang adjourned till October 4 for further hearing.
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