Abulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, has suffered another blow as a law firm withdraws from his trial.
According to The PUNCH, the law firm of Joe Kyari-Gadzama, SAN, on Friday, withdrew its legal representation for Maina who is being prosecuted on N2bn money laundering charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
This came barely 24 hours after another lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, who was appearing for the second defendant in the case, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, a firm said to be owned by Maina, obtained the permission of the court to quit the case.
Francis Oronsaye representing the Kyari-Gadzama’s law firm moved the application for the withdrawal of legal representation in the presence of Maina, who had jumped bail and fled to the Republic of Niger, from where he was extradited to Nigeria and produced in court on Friday.
Oronsaye said, “We have filed a notice of withdrawal of legal representation dated November 24, 2020, and filed on November 25, 2020. We wish to adopt same.
“Our non-appearance in this matter for some time was not borne out of disrespect or disregard for his honourable court.
“We have written to the first defendant (Maina) indicating our intention to pull out our representation. And we went further to file a notice of discontinuance of appearance.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, did not oppose the application.
The judge, Justice Okon Abang, subsequently granted the order permitting Kyari-Gadzama’s application to quit the case.
Immediately the judge handed down the order, another lawyer, Adaji Abel, announced appearance for Maina.
Abel, who said he was just briefed by Maina, urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable him to have enough to prepare for the case.
But the prosecuting counsel opposed the application for adjournment.