Maina Fakes Ailments To Escape From Custody, Aregbesola, NCoS Tell Court

Abdulrasheed Maina
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Abdulrasheed Maina is allegedly fabricating illnesses to help him leave the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), according to interior minister Rauf Aregbesola and controller general Haliru Baba.

The claim was made by Aregbesola and Nababa in a joint counter-affidavit they submitted before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in response to Mr. Maina’s originating petition.

In the application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1719/22, dated and filed October 31, the duo said, “it has become glare from the intelligence report at their disposal that the applicant (Maina) only feigns the ailments for him to be taken out of the custodial facility to aid his escape from lawful custody.”

The application was deposed to by the chief superintendent of correction, Diamond Bako, who was an officer in charge of the clinic at Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre.

Mr Maina, the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), had, on October 17, filed a motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1729/2022.

The former PRTT boss, currently serving an eight-year jail term at Kuje Prison for pension fraud to the tune of N2 billion, had told the court that he was suffering from a life-threatening disease in prison and needed urgent medical attention.

The ex-pension reformed boss prayed the court for an interim order directing the minister and the controller-general, via their staff or agents, to immediately take him to a reputable and recognised hospital for treatment of his life-threatening diseases pending the hearing and determination of his originating motion.

Reacting, the respondents, in the counter affidavit, said contrary to Mr Maina’s claim, he was never refused access to medical services but that he would not be allowed to hide under medical services to escape from lawful custody.

They described the medical reports he produced as “self-induced.”

“The applicant, on several occasions, made a self-induced complaint about his health, and he was taken (not rushed) to a specialised and reputable hospital for medical services.

“He was kept in the hospital for several hours without any sign of readiness on the part of the hospital management to attend to him.

“While in the hospital, he was visited by several friends and relatives who sat with him and chatted with him, and he was engulfed in conversation with them, occasionally laughing, without any sign of any ailment and/or pain.

“When after several hours of waiting and effort by the operatives of the 2nd respondent (NCoS’ C-G) to the management of the hospital to come forward and attend to him failed, it became obvious that the referral to the hospital was a mere gimmick to take the applicant out of lawful custody.

“It was at that point the operatives of the 2nd respondent received a confidential, top secret intelligence report that the applicant must, as a matter of expediency, quickly removed from the hospital and return to the custodial centre, otherwise, gunmen suspected to be loyal to the applicant will strike and take the applicant away to an unknown destination,” they alleged.

“It was on the face of this high power spy, intelligence report bothering on the possible plan to snatch the applicant away from the few operatives of the 2nd respondent on ground at the hospital, and in order to avoid this imminent danger that the applicant was returned to the yard to forestall the danger of attack,” they alleged.

They said that Mr Maina, who was arraigned on October 25, 2019, on a 12-count charge, though he pleaded not guilty, he, however, jumped bail after being granted the bail on health grounds.

Mr. Maina’s attorney, Ibrahim Idris, SAN, informed the court when the hearing began on Wednesday that the respondents’ attorney, Abdulmumin Muhammad, had just served him with his application.

The case was postponed until Friday for a hearing by Justice Ekwo.

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