A member of the Nigerian Senate, Ali Ndume has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to allow him to withdraw from further acting as a surety to former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abulrasheed Maina.
Ndume, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Mohammed stood as a surety for Maina , who is facing trial before the court, following his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering offences. Having volunteered to act as Maina’s surety when the court granted him bail; Maina subsequently jumped bail, prompting the court to order Ndume’s remand in prison until Maina was rearrested in a neighbouring country.
When the trial resumed on Monday, the lawmaker’s lawyer, Marcel Oru, told the court about a pending application filed by his client on December 15, 2020.
“We are praying the court to discharge the applicant (Ndume) formally as a surety in the matter and for the documents of title that were deposited in court to be released to him, considering the fact that the first defendant, Abdulrasheed Maina, who jumped bail, has been rearrested and is in the custody of the complainant (EFCC),” he said.
Oru, who noted that there was a pending appeal but which did not relate to the substantive case said: “Ordinarily if the appeal has been entered, this court, as presently constituted, will not have jurisdiction to entertain the application.
“But in the present circumstances, considering the intervening circumstances that the defendant (Maina) has been rearrested and is facing his trial before this court now, we are of the opinion that the court can hear the matter, subject to your lordship’s discretion.”
The prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, objected to the hearing of Ndume’s application, contending that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear it because the matter was already before the Court of Appeal. He added that he filed a notice of preliminary objection on December 18, 2020, and prayed the court to dismiss Ndume’s application for being incompetent.
Justice Abang adjourned till October 4 for further hearing.
READ ALSO: Court Denies Abdulrasheed Maina’s Bail Request