Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court in Abuja on Friday, fixed November 8, for judgment in the N2B corruption charges brought against former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina.
This is coming 24 hours after his son, Faisal Maina was sentenced to 24 years by the same court for similar corruption charges. He is to serve 14 years because the jail terms are to run concurrently.
The Judge said the verdict would be handed down on the date subject to availability of judicial time.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Farouk Abdullahi, while adopting his final address urged the court to convict and jail Maina on all the charges levelled against him by the federal government.
Justice Abang had before the final address adoption overruled an oral application by Maina’s lawyer, Mr Anayo Adibe, for an adjournment to enable him file a written address out of time.
In a bench ruling, the Judge recalled that on July 16, he ordered parties to file and serve final written addresses before the matter was then adjourned to October 4, for adoption of final addresses.
Justice Abang said the order of July 16, remained binding on parties since it was not appealed against and there was “nothing to show before the court that the defendant was aggrieved with the order”.
Abang held that the defendant had “vehemently disobeyed a court order” and instead of the defendants to take advantage to be heard by filing written addresses, they decided to file an application for bail during vacation.
“During the vacation period, the defendants filed an application on August 6, and I think they are persons that have denied themselves opportunity to be heard and not the court.
“Defendants cannot dictate to the court when to file written addresses and no application for enlargement of time within which to file written address was made.
“By not filing the final address, the defence cannot adopt legal strategy to enlarge the time of the court by seeking an adjournment.
“Defendants took an independent decision and made a choice not to file weitten addresses within time, and not doing so, is a decision the court cannot question.”
Consequently, the application for adjournment to enable the defendants file their written addresses was dismissed.
Having overruled the defence counsel, Justice Abang invited the prosecution counsel to adopt his written address.
The prosecution in adopting his written address urged the court to convict Maina on all the 12-counts charge preferred against him by the EFCC and sentence him accordingly in line with provisions of the law.