Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 dismissed the application filed by Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina to be relocated from the custody of the Nigerian Police Special Tactical Squad to a Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) center.
Faisal is the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Pension Reform Task Team chairman. Both of them are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 12-count charge that borders on operating fictitious bank accounts, money laundering and fraud to the tune of N2.1billion.
While his father was remanded in the Nigeria Correctional Service centre, Kuje, Abuja, his son, Faisal is cooling his heels in the custody of the Police Special Tactical Squad, Asokoro.
The court had fixed today, November 6 for the commencement of trial of the defendant. But when the matter was called, his counsel, Francis Oransanye informed the court that he had been denied access to his client by the police and requested the transfer of the defendant to the Nigerian Correctional Centre. According to him, access to his client will enable the defendant prepare for his defence. He therefore urged the court to adjourn hearing on the bail application to a later date when the defence team would have had access to the defendant.
Responding, prosecuting counsel, M.S Abubakar, reminded the court that after the arraignment of the defendant on October 25, 2019, the court adjourned the matter till November 6 for trial. He also noted that it was on October 30, that the issue of bail application came up and that the matter was further adjourned at the instance of the prosecution to enable it file a counter motion, hence the matter was adjourned to November 6.
“It is our submission that adjournment till November 6, has not been vacated. The learned counsel should allow us call our witness,” Abubakar said.
In his ruling, Justice Abang held that there was no proof before the court that the police indeed denied the team of the defence counsel access to the defendant, stating that what counsel said amounted to hearsay witnessing. He therefore, declared that application to transfer the defendant to any other place other than the Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad, Asokoro “is hereby refused.”