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HomeNewsFalana Storms Court,Offer To Testify At Maina's Trial

Falana Storms Court,Offer To Testify At Maina’s Trial

Human Rights Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday, expressed his readiness to testify in the ongoing trial of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina.

The former pension reform boss  opened his defence to the 12-count money laundering charge levelled by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC against him and his firm.

On March 1,2021, Maina had applied for the court to compel 10 persons, among whom included Falana, SAN, to appear as witnesses in the matter.

Trial Justice Okon Abang had on the strength of Maina’s application, also summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, the erstwhile Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emiefele, to appear as witnesses.

Maina had insisted that evidence of the subpoenaed witnesses would be crucial to his defence of the charge pending against him. But out of all the subpoenaed witnesses, only Falana, SAN, appeared before the court on Thursday.

Midway into testimony by Maina’s second defence witness, DW-2, Mr Emoakemeh Charles,  the court was notified of the presence of Falana, whom although not robed in his wig and gown, took the floor and addressed the court.

Falana said: “My lord, I learnt that I have been summoned. Even though I have not been served anything, but I am here today out of respect for the court.

“I will go and collect the summons from the bailiff myself”.

The trial judge,  Justice Okon Abang, while commending him for showing such respect to the court, explained that all the summons were issued at the behest of Defendant.

“Unlike what was reported in some sections of the media, it was not this court that issued the summons on its own. It was the Defendant that applied for them, and this court, going by decision of the Court of Appeal, had no choice but to sign them”.

In response, Falana said he had no problem testifying in the matter.

“I quite understood my lord. It will be my pleasure to testify in this matter”, he added.

Justice Abang thereafter adjourned the matter till March 17 and 18 for the continuation of hearing of evidence of the PW-2 and for evidence of witnesses on the subpoena.

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