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Court asks prisons to probe Maina’s claim of ill-health

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A federal high court in Abuja has asked the deputy comptroller of the Nigeria Correctional Service in charge of medicals and welfare to examine Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), over claim of ill-health.

Okon Abang, the judge, made this order on Tuesday following a request from Mohammed Abubakar, the prosecution counsel, when the defendant did not show up in court on the grounds of ill health.

At the resumption of trial, an officer of the service presented a letter containing Maina’s medical report issued by Idowu Ajayi, a doctor working with the service.

After reading the letter, Abang asked the senior counsels for the prosecution and the defendant if they had knowledge of Maina’s ill-health.

But the counsels said they were unaware.

Francis Oronsaye, Maina’s lawyer, then asked the court to adjourn the matter until his client is fit to stand trial.

The prosecutor, however, asked the court for an order directing the deputy comptroller of the correctional service to personally examine the defendant to determine the true state of his health.

Ruling, Abang held that a medical report cannot act as a means to stay proceedings.

He said the doctor who claimed to have examined Maina failed to state the time the defendant will be fit for trial.

The judge ruled in favour of the prosecution.

The court adjourned till November 7 for continuation of trial.

Maina is standing trial on 12 counts of money laundering. He was first arraigned on October 25, and he pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

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