Mr Mohammed Sheriff, lawyer to Rep Umar Dan-Galadima, who stood as surety for Faisal, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, the ex-Chairman, Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), told Justice Okon Abang that the defendant (Faisal) has been arrested by security operatives.
The development occurred when Sheriff appealed to Justice Abang to suspend the hearing of the forfeiture proceedings since Faisal had, finally, been arrested.
He urged Abang not to grant the EFCC’s forfeiture order against Dan-Galadima, who represents Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara, following his inability to produce the defendant in court.
The lawyer restated that since Faisal had been arrested from the information reaching him, it would be of no use for the lawmaker to forfeit the landed property used as guarantee for the N60 million bail bond.
“My lord, I was reliably informed that the Defendant had been arrested. He was arrested last night and he is in custody,” the lawyer said.
The EFCC’s counsel, Farouk Abdullah, however, said though he heard the information that Faisal had been arrested, it was still at the realm of speculation.
Abdullah, who said the defendant had not been handed over to the commission, insisted that the forfeiture proceedings should commence.
“He is not in our custody yet, but we got information unofficially that he has been arrested,” he added.
On his part, Anayo Adibe, who announced appearance for Faisal, also corroborated Sheriff’s submission.
He urged the court to suspend the forfeiture proceeding against the surety “to allow the court to ascertain the authenticity or otherwise of the defendant’s status.”
In a bench ruling, Justice Abang dismissed the adjournment request and ordered the surety to move the application he filed to show cause why he should not forfeit the bail bond to the Federal Government.
After taking arguments from parties, the judge adjourned until Dec. 21 for ruling on the matter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) observes that information about Faisal’s arrest came barely one week after Maina, who had jumped bail in his ongoing N2 billion money laundering trial was arrested in the Republic of Niger and brought back to the court.
Faisal, who is being prosecuted in a separate three-count money laundering case, had jumped bail and stopped attending trial which had though continued in his absence.
Justice Abang on Nov. 24, revoked the bail granted him and ordered his arrest.
The judge also ordered the fleeing defendant’s surety, who is a member of the House of Representatives, to appear in court.(NAN)