By Olalekan Awojodu
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered that Sen. Ali Ndume be remanded at Kuje Correctional facility for failing to produce the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Force, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina for trial.
The order was made in Abuja on Monday by Justice Okon Abang at the esumed trial of Maina over an alleged N2 billion money laundering charge.
The defendant has since pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum, who must always appear in court for his trial.
However, following Maina’s non- appearance in court for the fifth time for trial since September, the court was forced to revoke his bail and ordered his arrest anywhere he was sighted.
Ndume, Maina surety have also been ordered to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional facility pending the time he was able to fulfill the bail bond or produce Maina in court.
The court pronouncement also empowered the federal government to sell Ndume’s property at Asokoro in order to recover the N500 million naira bond.
Gavel International reports that the court had last week adjourned to Monday for Ndume to give reasons why he should not be remanded or forfeit the bail bond he deposed to on May 5 guaranteeing Maina’s presence in court for trial.
Justice Abang held further that the Senator shall be released from Kuje Correctional Centre once he is able to pay the money or if the prosecutor is able to dispose of the property and payment made to the federal government coffer.
Maina, who was supposed to appear in court for continuation of his trial in the alleged N2bn money laundering, has allegedly jumped bail.
The EFCC’s Lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, had, on Nov. 18, asked the court to make an order for the lawmaker to forfeit the bail bond since Maina, who he stood as surety for, had jumped bail.
Abubakar also asked the court to revoke Maina’s bail and issued a warrant of arrest on him.
After granting the applications by the EFCC on Maina, the court gave Ndume an opportunity to appear with his legal representation and adjourned till December 23.