At last, court grants embattle ex-pension chief, Maina, N1bn bail

A federal high court in Abuja has granted N1 billion bail to Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team.

Okon Abang, a judge, granted him bail on compassionate grounds following an application by Ahmed Raji, his lawyer.

The judge ordered Maina to provide sureties with N500m naira each. He said the sureties must have landed properties fully developed in Asokoro or Maitama in Abuja and they must be serving senators with no criminal case in court.

The judge also ordered Maina to deposit all his travel passports, including American, Nigerian and diplomatic passports.

When the bail application was heard, Maina’s counsel had urged the court to admit his client to bail on liberal terms and self recognisance pending the conclusion of hearing.

The prosecution had prayed the court to discountenance the request for bail on grounds that Maina, who was at large for several years, could jump bail.

However, Abang said he would take the risk to admit Maina to bail. He adjourned the case till November 26.

Maina is standing trial on alleged money laundering charge to the tune of over N2 billion preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency had on October 25 arraigned Maina alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, before Abang.

Maina is standing trial on 12 counts bordering money laundering. He was first arraigned on October 25, and he pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.