The Nigeria Police yesterday extradited former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrashid Abdullahi Maina, back to Nigeria from Niamey, Niger Republic.
He was arrested in Niger, having been declared wanted in Abuja by a court of competent jurisdiction over a pending criminal trial against him.
Maina was arrested on November 30, 2020, through the collaborative efforts of the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL NCB, Abuja, and their Nigerien counterpart.
The team from INTERPOL Nigeria, led by the Commissioner of Police INTERPOL, Garba Umar, having completed the necessary documentation requirements and other extradition processes, flew Maina into Nigeria aboard an NPF jet 5N-HAR and landed at exactly 2:17 p.m in Abuja.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, who applauded the trans-national/inter-agency collaborations that led to the successful arrest and extradition of the wanted fugitive, assured all that necessary legal actions will follow immediately.
Also, a Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday granted the request by Adeola Adedipe, a defence lawyer in Maina’s trial, to be allowed to withdraw from the case.
Adedipe had, until recently, represented Maina’s company – Common Input Limited – charged as the second defendant in the money laundering trial of the former PRTT Chairman.
The lawyer, yesterday, moved the application for leave to withdraw, which he filed on November 25, 2020, which Justice Okon Abang granted in a brief ruling.
“Counsel, having filed an application in line with Section 349(7) of ACJA 2015 to withdraw his legal representation for the second defendant, the application is hereby granted,” the judge said.
Although Adedipe’s application was devoid of any reason for his action, it was learnt the the lawyer elected to withdraw because the defendant did not perfect his brief.
Also, the trial continued yesterday in the absence of the defendants and their lawyers, with the court entertaining evidence from a witness of the prosecution, Ruqayya Ibrahim.
The court’s decision to allow the continuation of the trial was in line with its earlier ruling, allowing the trial to be conducted in the absence of Maina, who the court found to have jumped bail.
Justice Abang adjourned till today for continuation of trial.