Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Federal High Court on Monday, January 14; overruled the plea of former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina to reject documented evidence presented against him; by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Abang said that the defendant was not in a position to determine before the court which document was relevant to the case of the prosecution.
He said that any document the prosecution decided to bring before the court to prove their case; provided it was admissible to the law, such documents will be admitted in evidence.
However, he noted that whether the court will consider the document relevant to a case before it; was entirely a different issue.
“It is a case of the prosecution and not the defendant. The defendants have not opened their defence. It is possible that at the close of the case of the prosecution; the defendants may or may not call evidence in the matter.
“Put differently, the defendants may decide to file a no-case application at the close of the case of the prosecution. If the no-case application succeeds; then the defendants may not call evidence in the matter,” he said.
The judge further said that when a defendant decides to call evidence in a matter; any document that the defendant decides to bring to court to prove their innocence will be provided in evidence.
It was reported that the 1st and 2nd defendants were Maina as well as Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, respectively.
EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Farouk Abdullahi, presented a set of five documents indicating the bank statement of accounts; account opening and also certificate of identification belonging to Maina and four others as evidence.
Counsel to Maina, Mr Mohammed Munguno urged the court to reject the documents tendered.
“The documents are irrelevant, of no use and not related with the charges before the court; and also not reflected the proof of evidence,” he said.
Counsel to the 2nd defendant, Mr Adeola Adedipe aligned with the submissions of Munguno.
Justice Abang informed the court that he was ready to hear the bail variation and continuation of trial; as he adjourned the matter to Jan. 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th, 2020.
Meanwhile, Justice Abang had on Nov. 25, 2019, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of 1 billion naira.
He ordered Maina to produce two sureties who must be serving senators. He also ordered that the two sureties, who must be prepared for a N500m bond each; must always be in court with the defendant at each adjourned date.
The two lawmakers provided must be free of any criminal trial in any court within the country.
The EFCC had, on Oct. 25, 2019, charged the defendant before the court alongside his firm; Common Input Property and Investment Ltd on a 12 count charge of money laundering.
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