The lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Ali Ndume, will for now remain in the Kuje Correctional Center.
This follows the decision of the Federal High Court in Abuja to defer ruling on the bail application Ndume filed to secure his release from prison till Friday.
Justice Okon Abang adjourned ruling on the bail application, having listened to the arguments of Counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mohammed Abubakar, and the senator’s lawyer, Marcel Oru.
Ndume’s lawyer described the refusal of Maina to appear for hearing, which led to the remand of his client, as highly despicable.
The lawyer, who argued that Ndume had been in custody for four days, noted that keeping him there would mean punishing him for an offence committed by another.
“My lord, going by what has played out in this case, only God knows, from the lesson learned, whether a Nigerian with a good heart will ever stand surety for anyone anymore,” he said.
However, the EFCC Counsel, opposed the bail application, saying granting it would amount to the court sitting on appeal over its ruling.
“When an appeal has been lodged, the trial court ceases to have jurisdiction over application for bail pending trial. Granting this application will amount to this court sitting on appeal in this matter, in which case, this court does not have such jurisdiction,” he said.
The Point had reported that Justice Abang, on Monday, ordered that Ndume be remanded in Kuje Correctional Center.
He gave the order, following Ndume’s inability to produce Maina, who is standing trial for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2bn.
Maina last appeared in court on July 2, 2020, during his legal team’s cross-examination of the sixth prosecution witness.
The EFCC is prosecuting Maina, alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, on a 12-count charge of operating fictitious bank accounts, corruption, and money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
His trial in absentia continued on Wednesday, with counsel to Common Input Property and Investment Limited (the second defendant), Adeola Adegbite, revealing his intention to disengage as the company’s counsel.