Interior minister, NCoS CG accuse Maina of feigning illness to escape from custody


Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, and Haliru Baba, controller-general of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), have accused Abdulrasheed Maina of feigning illness to aid his escape from prison.


On November 8, 2021, Maina, former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), was sentenced to eight years in prison after he was found guilty of money laundering.


In a motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1729/2022, dated and filed on September 27, the convict prayed the court for an interim order directing the minister of interior and the NCoS controller-general, to immediately take him to a reputable hospital for treatment.


Maina, in his application, adduced 10 reasons why the motion should be granted, including that his “ailment” had been left untreated, and had resulted in the deterioration of his health.

In a joint counter affidavit filed in opposition to the application, Aregbesola and Nababa said Maina was never denied medical attention as he claimed.


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,” they said.


 “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’ CG) 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 be removed from the hospital and returned to the custodial centre, otherwise, gunmen suspected to be loyal to the applicant will strike and take the applicant away to an unknown destination.


 “It was on the face of this high power spy, intelligence report bordering 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.”


The respondents reminded the court that Maina had jumped bail in 2020 after he was released on the grounds of ill health.


At the court session on Wednesday, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, adjourned the matter till Friday for hearing.

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