Again, judge’s absence stalls Nyako, Maina’s corruption trials

The trial of a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and his son, Abdulaziz, for alleged money laundering, was on Thursday stalled at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court due to the absence of the trial judge, Okon Abang.

Also stalled was the trial of the former chairperson of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, for the same reason.

When the cases and others resumed, the registrar announced that the court would not sit because Mr Abang was engaged in other official assignments.

Mr Nyako, his son, Abdulaziz, and two companies – Sabore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd – are being prosecuted for allegedly laundering N29 billion.

At the last sitting in July, the EFCC had asked the court to order Mr Nyako and his son to enter their defence in the fraud charge brought against them.

Oluwaleke Atolagbe, counsel to the commission, made the request while responding to the no-case submission filed by the former governor and his co-defendants.

On his part, Mr Maina is facing a 12-count charge of N100 billion pension fraud brought against him by EFCC.

The charges border on money laundering, operation of fictitious accounts and other fraudulent activities.

Mr Maina is standing trial alongside his son, Faisal, and a firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

On Tuesday, both Messrs Abang and Maina were not in court thus stalling the continuation of the case.

However, the senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Ali Ndume, who is standing surety for the former pension boss, was in court that day.

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Mr Ndume had told the court on Monday he did not know the whereabouts of Mr Maina.

“My lord, I must confess, I do not know,” the senator said when asked by Mr Abang to disclose Mr Maina’s whereabouts.


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