The Federal High Court, will, on Thursday, take the bail application of Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team.
Justice Okon Abang, who gave the ruling on Wednesday, however, rejected the application by the defence counsel for his client to be transferred from police custody to the Kuje Correctional Service centre.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Abang had also adjourned till Nov. 7 to deliver his ruling on the bail application filed by Faisal’s father, Abdulrasheed.
While the judge had, on Oct. 25, ordered that Abdulrasheed Maina be remanded in Kuje Correctional Service centre, Abang ordered the EFCC to keep Faisal in police custody at Police Tactical Squad, Asokoro, based on the investigation on allegation of possession of firearms and resistance to arrest.
Earlier, Counsel to the defendant, Francis Oronsaye, had complained that his client, who was in police custody, was repeatedly denied access to his lawyer.
“Each time my colleague in the chamber went, his report was always that he was denied entry.
“We wish to make an application for the defendant to be transferred from the tactical squad office to Kuje Correctional facility.
“We believe this will make it easier for us to have access to him as against the current situation.
“We strongly believe that access to him is very fundamental to the preparation of his defence”, Faisal’s lawyer told the court.
He further prayed the court to adjourn hearing of the bail application to a later date when the defendant would have been able to have access to his lawyer.
He argued that the adjournment would enable the defence team to effectively and properly react to the counter-affidavit that was filed by the prosecution.
Oronsaye also queried the admissibility of the documents in evidence tendered by the EFCC’s principal witness, Mrs Mairo Bashir, through the prosecution counsel, Muhammed Abubakar.
He said the witness was not the maker of the documents justifying his argument with Section 31 of the Evidence Act.
Justice Abang, in his ruling, rejected the request to move Faisal from police custody on the premise that the order of the court that remanded the defendant in police custody has not been set aside.
He said the court has become functus-officio in the matter since it had already ruled on where the defendant should be kept, pending the determination of his bail application.
More so, the trial Judge held that the defendant’s bail application could not be deferred since it was ripe for hearing.
Justice Abang, therefore, ruled that the bail application by the defence counsel would be taken on Nov. 7.
On the admissibility of the documents in evidence, the judge though agreed with the defence counsel, that documents in evidence must be tendered by their maker, however, he held that “these documents can still be admitted through the witness under Section 83(2a) of the Evidence Act.”
He, thereafter, adjourned till Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 for continuation of trial.
The judge said: “The court shall take the bail application of the defendant on 7th November, 2019.
“However, the matter will be adjourned at the instance of the defendant.
“This is so because the 1st defendant counsel reacted on the application of the learned counsel for the prosecution for adjournment of trial till 7th November, 2019.
“The 1st defendant counsel asked for another date other than 7th Nov.
“So that is why the matter is adjourned at the instance of the defendant, not at the instance of the prosecution.
“This matter is hereby adjourned at the instance of the defendant to 21 and 22 November 2019 for continuation of trial.”
NAN reports that the EFCC charged Abdulrasheed Maina with 12 counts bordering on money laundering, operating fictitious bank accounts and fraud.
Faisal was also docked on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.
However, they pleaded not guilty to all the charges.