The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the revocation of bail granted to Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, for failure to appear for his trial.
Justice Okon Abang, who made the order, also issued a bench warrant for his arrest “anywhere he is sighted by security agencies.”
Justice Abang, in addition, issued a summon on Faisal’s surety, Rep. Sani Umar Dan-Galadima, who represents Kaura Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara, to appear before the court on Wednesday, to show cause why the bail bond should not be forfeited.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had, on Nov. 26, 2019, admitted Faisal to bail in the sum of N60 million with a surety in the like sum who must be a member of the House of Representatives.
The court held that the surety must have a landed property anywhere within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It also said that the lawmaker, who would produce a three-year tax clearance certificate, must not be standing criminal trial in any court.
The court ruled that the lawmaker, who would undertake to always attend Faisal’s trial at each adjourned date, held that “where the surety fails without cogent reason, the court is at liberty to revoke the bail.”
Dan-Galadima had deposed to an affidavit of means, on Dec. 11, 2019, to always come to court at every adjourned date and produce Faisal in court.
Faisal was arraigned, on Oct. 25, by the EFCC on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.
However, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, EFCC’s Lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, said though Faisal was on bail, he was not in court.
He reminded that the matter was also listed on the cause list of the court on Nov. 18 and Nov. 23.
According to him, although the matter was not called on account of heavy workload on the court on those days, I did not see the defendant.
“I also make enquiry from court register whether the surety was in court but was informed he was not in court,” he said.
He said so far, three witnesses had been called in the trial.
Abubakar, who said Faisal failed to appear in court on June 24 without reasonable explanation, said Dan-Galadima on July 3 was not in court as well.
The lawyer, therefore, made three oral applications for an order for the revocation of Faisal’s bail, issuance of bench warrant against him pursuant to Section 184 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and for trial to continue in absentia pursuant to Section. 352(4) of ACJA.
He also applied for the issuance of summon against the surety and to show cause why he should not forfeit the bail bond in accordance with Section 179 of ACJA.
He argued that Paragraphs 4 and 5 of the affidavit of means deposed to by the surety affirmed that the legislator agreed that he would forfeit the bail bond if Faisal jumped bail.
“We submit that our application has met the requirement of Section. 352 (4).
“By virtue of this provision, the court has power and discretion to grant the applications,” he said.
Justice Abang, in his ruling, granted the EFCC’s applications.
According to him, the conduct of the defendant leave much to be desired.
He revoked Faisal’s bail, issued a warrant of arrest against him and granted the prayer for his trial in his absence.
The judge, who said that the court must hear from the surety why he was not in court for sake of fair hearing, ordered Dan-Galadima to appear before the court on Nov. 25 to show cause why he would not forfeit the bail bond since Faisal had jumped bail.
“Where the surety fails to attend court on Nov. 25, 2020, bench warrant will be issued for his arrest,” he held.
He adjourned the matter until Nov. 25 for trial continuation.(NAN)