By Rasheed Sobowale
“Lol its a pattern, once they’re on trial they’re all sick and can’t stand, wheelchair stretchers replace their jeeps. Nigeria is not ready yet..” That was the comment of @ArafatMuazu, a Twitter when Vanguard published the news on the arrival of Abdulrasheed Maina in court in a wheelchair.
Maina is a Former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team. He is currently facing trial over his alleged complicity in a N2 billion fraud at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He seems not to be the first prominent Nigerian appearing at a trial with a wheelchair.
Prominent Nigerians on crutches, wheelchair & stretcher during trial
In January 2016, Haliru Mohammed former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja following allegations of his involvement in the $2 billion arms deal. Full Story.
In January 2016, Former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, appeared before a Federal High Court on crutches to face charges of fraud.
In March 2018, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, who was facing corruption charges arrived the continuation of his trial before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, in a wheelchair. Full Story.
In May, 2018, Sen. Dino Melaye, the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, during his trial before a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja for attempting to kill himself by jumping out of a vehicle conveying him to Lokoja to face criminal allegations against him arrived the court in a stretcher. Full Story.
In September 2019, Major General Hakeem Otiki, General Officer Commanding 8 Division Nigerian Army, appeared in a wheelchair during his trial in the General Court Martial (GCM) over the stealing of large sums of money put between #400million and #600 by soldiers attached to the GOC. Full Story.