Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, Pensions Reform Task Team (PRTT), collapsed in court on Thursday as his trial resumed at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred when the court registrar was reading proceedings that were ready for collection as his counsel Anayo Adibe addressed the court on his no-case submission before the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang.
He was hurriedly rushed out of the courtroom by Nigerian Correctional Centre officers as Justice Abang suspended the proceedings.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the drama began when Adibe told Abang that he would be unable to continue with his client’s no-case submission motion because he was yet to receive the record of proceedings of the court since Maina’s arraignment.
According to the NAN, Justice Abang told Adibe that it was his duty to get the record of proceedings, which had already been processed, from the Registry rather than waiting for the court Registrar to look for him.
On Wednesday, Maina had, through his counsel, told the court that he had no case to answer in the allegations levied against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He had earlier reportedly told Justice Abang, shortly after Farouk Abdullah, counsel to the EFCC, had closed the commission’s case, that he would be filing a no-case submission.
Maina was first arraigned before Justice Abang, on 25 October 2019, by the EFCC on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2 billion, allegations that he denied.
On November 18, Justice Abang ordered Maina’s arrest following his refusal to appear in court since September 29 when his case resumed.
Ali Ndume, a senator representing Borno South, who stood surety for Maina, was remanded in prison custody on November 23, for failure to produce him in court, but was granted bail five days after, on grounds of his good conduct.
Maina was, however, produced in court on December 4, by security operatives after he was arrested in the neighbouring Niger Republic and extradited to Nigeria.
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