The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday rejected another request by Abdulrasheed Maina for an adjournment to prepare for his defence.
Maina is a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT).
Justice Okon Abang ruled that the decision to grant the application was at court’s discretion.
The judge said such a plea was a ploy to waste the judicial time of the court, NAN reports.
However, Anayo Adibe, Maina’s new counsel, objected on grounds that the legal team was just taking over the case and needed adequate time to prepare.
But Justice Abang noted that since the matter resumed on September 29, Maina did not appear in court until a bench warrant was issued against him.
The judge said the issue of fair hearing was not applicable because Maina was not just coming into the matter for the first time.
“The issue before the court has to be properly made not on a sentimental basis. The 1st defendant (Maina) jumped bail without reason to do so,” Abang held.
He noted that if Maina’s new counsel needed the case file, it was expected that the former counsel would hand over the file to the new lawyer.
“And if Joe Gadzama (former counsel) fails, the new counsel knows what to do. An administrative letter to a registrar cannot serve as a stay of proceeding. The new counsel cannot drag us into his own internal affairs”, Abang added.
Justice Abang, who noted that Maina had been offered adequate opportunity and time for his defence, refused to grant his application.
Maina was arraigned before Justice Abang, on October 25, 2019, by the EFCC alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd.
He is facing a 12-count charged bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.