The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed April 13 to hear evidence of witnesses on subpoena in the ongoing trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT).
The new date was fixed following a meeting of counsel for the prosecution and defence with Justice Abang at his chamber.
Justice Abang, who had just been transferred to Warri Division of the court in Delta, according to a circular released by the FHC on the present posting of judges, adjourned the matter until April 13 for hearing of the subpoenaed witnesses and trial continuation.
Although the judge did not preside over today’s case at the open court, he, however, met with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar and Maina’s counsel, Anayo Adibe, in his chamber.
The News Agency of Nigeria was reliably informed that while the circular dated March 16 directed all the judges newly appointed to judicial divisions to assume their duties on April 12, the circular also hinted that all the judges should take inventory of all property of the court.
But NAN could not confirm if the new posting could be attributed to Justice Abang’s inability to preside on cases at the open court.
Justice Abang had, on March 11, fixed March 17 and 18 to hear evidence of witnesses on subpoena in the ongoing trial.
Abang had fixed the date after Chief Femi Falana, SAN, one of the subpoenaed witnesses, appeared in court to indicate his readiness to testify.
Maina, through his lawyer, had, on March 8, applied that the court subpoena some persons to testify in his ongoing trial by the EFCC on how he managed the PRTT which he chaired.
Meanwhile, Abang, on Wednesday, dismissed the application filed by Adibe, on behalf of Faisal, Abdulrasheed Maina’s son, seeking a recall of all the prosecution witnesses in his ongoing trial.
Justice Abang, who presided over the matter in his chamber, said the application lacked merit.
He then adjourned the matter to May 18 for continuation of trial.
It would be recalled that Adibe had applied to the court for a recall of all the prosecution witnesses on Faisal’s case on the grounds that the evidence of the witnesses were taken by the court in the absence of the defendant and his new legal team.
The lawyer averred that now that Faisal had counsel representing him, the court should, in the interest of fair hearing, recall all the witnesses so that the new legal team could cross examine them and for the defendant to open his defence.
NAN reports that Faisal, who is facing separate charges, was arraigned on Oct. 25, 2019, by the EFCC on three counts bordering on money laundering.
The court had, on Nov. 26, 2019, admitted Faisal to bail in the sum of N60 million with a surety in the like sum who must be a member of the House of Representatives.
However, Faisal, like his father, stopped attending court proceedings last year, making the judge to revoke his bail, ordered his arrest and directed that his trial should proceed in his absence, having been said to have jumped bail.
Also, the court, in a committal proceeding ruling, ordered Faisal’s surety, who is a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Dan-Galadima, representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara, to forfeit a property used as a bail bond, having failed to produce the defendant.