Former head of workers pensions scheme, accused of embezzling workers funds, collapses in Nigerian courtroom during trial
Embattled boss of a Nigerian federal agency Abdulrasheed Maina Thursday collapsed during proceedings at the Federal High Court in Abuja court on Thursday
Maina the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, is being prosecuted by the country’s anti-graft agency, EFCC, which closed its case on Wednesday after calling nine witnesses
Accused of embezzling $3.4million from the fund, he is facing 12 counts of charges related to theft and money laundering
The defendant, who was recently extradited from Niger Republic where he’d fled, after being granted bail by the court
Maina who was jumping bail for the second time, on his return, requested that the court dismiss the lawsuit because he had ‘no case to answer’
Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team, collapsed in the dock during the resumed hearing in his $3.4million [N2billion naira] money laundering trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday morning, December 10.
Maina is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], the anti-graft agency, which closed its case on Wednesday after calling nine witnesses.
Abdulrasheed Maina, the former pension chief who is being tried for stealing pension funds. The prosecution’s case presented by the EFCC, closed on Wednesday after calling nine witnesses.
Maina, who twice escaped from Nigeria after being granted bail, began his defense opened his defense on Wednesday, by asking the court to dismiss the suit and declare that he has no case to answer.
In his earlier court appearance he pled not guilty to all the charges.
Justice Abang had, on Nov. 18, ordered Maina’s arrest following his refusal to appear in court since Sept. 29 when his case resumed.
On Thursday while the defense was making the case for his no case submission, Maina collapsed inside the dock at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Defense attorney, Anayo Adibe, was briefing the judge that his team had yet to receive the records of proceedings requested from the court’s registry when Maina suddenly slumped.
Prison officials immediately rushed towards him to resuscitate him and get him proper medical care. Judge Okon Abang, subsequently adjourned for a short recess before proceedings resumed.
The fugitive defendant, who was recently re-arrested in neighboring Niger Republic where he’d fled after being granted bail by the court, is being prosecuted on a 12-count charge of theft and money laundering.
Testifying Tuesday, the EFCC’s last witness detailed the embezzlement allegations against the former pensions chief. Ruqqayah Ibrahim, an EFCC investigator told the court that Maina bought two houses in Abuja for $3.4 million and paid for the houses in cash.
Thursday’s sitting was scheduled for the hearing of his no-case submission, following the close of the prosecution’s case with nine witnesses earlier on Wednesday December 9.
The case is continuing.
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