The loud crash from a fall in the dock by former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, on Thursday forced an adjournment at his prosecution at a Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday.
The drama happened as it emerged that the fleeing son of the former pension boss, Faisal, had also been re-arrested.
Maina himself had been bundled from Niger Republic to continue his trial, which was on in absentia, after he jumped bail and fled the country. He put his Senator, Ali Ndume, who stood surety for him, in trouble that led to Ndume spending three nights in jail.
Maina is facing trial by government on a 12-count charge of alleged fraud andmoney laundering totalling N2 billion.
His lawyer, Anayo Adibe, was explaining why he needed more time to plead his no-case submission when Maina crash interrupted proceedings.
Adibe was in the middle of telling Justice Okon Abang that he was still expecting records of proceedings from the registry to build his defence when attention turned to the crashed Maina. Abang allowed an adjournment for care to be given the former government official by relatives and prison officials.
Maina had often complained of his health and was actually in hospital for treatment when he jumped bail.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, confirmed to the court on Thursday that the 21-year-old Faisal, who jumped bail since June 24, was apprehended by security operatives on Wednesday night.
Faisal is facing a three-count money laundering charge the anti-graft agency preferred against him.
Trial Justice Okon Abang had in a ruling on November 24, revoked his bail, even as he issued bench warrant for security agencies to arrest him wherever he is found.
The court equally summoned the member representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency, Umar Dan-Galadima, who stood surety for the Defendant, to show cause why he should not be remanded in custody or made to forfeit N60million bail bond on the head of the Defendant, to the Federal Government.
Relying on section 352 (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Justice Abang also gave the EFCC the nod to prosecute the Defendant in absentia.
The Prosecution had since closed its case against him after it called three witnesses that testified in the matter.
At the resumed proceeding in the matter on Thursday, counsel to the surety, Mr M. E. Sheriff, urged the court to suspend hearing of the forfeiture case against his client in view of the arrest of the Defendant.
He said: “My lord, I was reliably informed that the Defendant had been arrested. He was arrested last night and he is in custody.”
Though he confirmed the development, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Farouk Abdullah, said the Defendant has not been handed over to the agency.
▪︎ Additional reports by Vanguard