By Olalekan Awojodu
The former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Tea (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has denied that he ever jumped bail during the pendency of his trial.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, had in October, 2020, revoked his bail following his failure to appear in court multiple times to stand his trial.
Justice Okon Abang, who gave the order in a ruling, also issued a bench warrant for his arrest anywhere he was sighted.
Recall that Maina is being prosecuted on a 12-count charge of theft and money laundering.
But the former pension boss in an 18 paragraph affidavit in support of his fresh bail application said he was only in Niger Republic for a medical emergency following a referral by Nigerian doctors, which he said the court had the knowledge of.
Maina said he was on the hospital bed when his lawyer informed him that the trial judge had rejected his medical report, revoked his bail and ordered for his arrest.
He said as a result of the order for his arrest, he decided to seek a better medical facility for the treatment of his knee, and was eventually referred to Military Hospitals in Chad Republic and Niger Republic, where the knee surgery was successfully carried out.
The ex-pension boss, however, disclosed that his re-arrest and detention had worsened his medical condition.
Maina said: “As a result of the period spent in custody, my fragile health took a turn for the worse and I urgently sought medical attention upon my release on bail. Most urgent of my health challenges is my knee which requires urgent surgery, or I risk my leg being amputated.
“In October 2020, I was absent during my trial because I had to undergo a medical procedure on my knee, this was communicated to the honorable court, attaching is my medical report. Same is hereby attached and marked Exhibit M1”.
“My counsel informed me and I verily believed same on the 29th of October 2020 at about 4pm in my hospital bed at Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, that the honourable court discountenanced my medical report and instead revoked my bail and ordered for my arrest. I was recuperating from the surgery when the authorities arrested me and returned me to Abuja, where I was returned to the custody.
“I did not violate the terms of my bail, but only sought medical attention or risk my knee being amputated. A copy of the medical report from the Military Hospital in Niamey, Niger Republic is hereby attached and marked Exhibit M2.
“There is no health facility at the Correctional Centre where I am being kept, and as such, I am receiving no medical attention whatsoever. Except the honourable court grants this application and order my release on bail for the purpose of receiving urgent medical attention, I fear for my life.
“That I undertake to produce reasonable and responsible surety as well as undertake to appear and continue my trial whenever doctors certify me fit to continue trial. I am hypertensive, diabetic with a kidney in urgent need of medical attention.
“I am willing to be placed on surveillance which may include regular phone calls or visits by designated Police officers to whatever health facility I will be admitted to”