A federal high court sitting in Abuja has commenced the trial of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, in his absence.
Maina is standing trial on the offence bordering on N2bn money laundering charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The ex-pension boss failed to attend proceedings since September 29, 2020, which compelled the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, to adjudge him as having jumped bail in a ruling delivered on November 18, 2020.
The judge had on November 18 ruled and revoked the bail earlier granted him, ordering his arrest and directed that his trial would proceed in his absence.
The situation compelled the judge to order the remand of Maina’s bail surety, Senator Ali Ndume, until he was able to produce him in court or pay the N500m bail bond to the Nigerian Government.
Meanwhile, at the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, Maina was conspicuously absent with no legal representation.
The judge also held that the defendants had the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and oppose the admissibility of the exhibit tender but failed to take advantage of it.
He therefore closed the defendants’ right to cross-examine the witness as he admitted the exhibit tendered by the prosecution counsel without any objection.
Also, SaharaReporters gathered that Senator Ndume spent a night at the Kuje Correctional Center and would be returning to the court to approach the judge to release him on self recognition.
The source, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the ex-penson boss may have fled to neighbouring Chad Republic to hide there.