The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday February 14, 2020 re-arraigned Faisal Maina, son of the former Chairman Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Abdulahi Maina, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja on amended three-count charge.
The EFCC is prosecuting the younger Maina for money laundering and false declaration of asset.
While the matter today was for further examination of second prosecution witness (PW2), the prosecution team, led by M.S. Abubakar, relying on Section 216 (1) of Administrative Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), tendered the amended three-count charge against the defendant.
However, counsel to the defendant, Adeola Adedipe told the court that he has been served but objected on the grounds that the prosecution has the right to amend its charges only to the extent that it is guided by the court.
He further argued that the amended charges were not appropriately endorsed because no leave of court was granted to the prosecution to come up with the charges.
Abubakar, however, argued that it was not mandatory for the prosecution to obtain the leave of the court before amending a charge, and referred to the case of Uguru Vs. State (2002) 103 paragraph B-F in support of his argument.
Justice Abang after hearing both arguments, ruled in favour of the prosecution.
“I have attentively listened to the arguments of both counsels, there is no dispute as to the time the charge can be amended before judgment,” stating that it was not the court that would endorse the order of amendment, since the court is not a party in this matter.
In granting the application of the EFCC, he ordered that the charge be read to the defendant in order for him to take his plea.
Faisal pleaded not guilty to the amended three-count charge.
Following the plea of Adedipe his counsel, the court allowed him to continue the bail earlier granted him.
Justice Abang adjourned the matter till February 18, 26, 27 and March 18, 19, 20 and 30 for continuation of trial.