This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Court Reserves Ruling in Maina's Suit to Stop Arrest

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President Goodluck Jonathan.

A Federal High Court in Abuja Wednesday fixed March 21 for judgment in a suit filed by the embattled Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force (PRTF), Mr. Abdul-Rasheed Maina, to stop the police from arresting him.

Justice Adamu Bello fixed the date after parties adopted their written addresses.

Maina was recently declared wanted by the police following his refusal to honour the Senate's invitation to defend himself over alleged pension fraud.

He is seeking an order setting aside the warrant of arrest issued at the instance of the Senate President, David Mark by the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar against him on Febraury 2, following a resolution by the Senate.

He is praying the court to quash the purported report of the Senate Committee's resolutions that led to the issuance of the bench warrant.

According to him, the action violated his fundamental rights as guaranteed under Section 35(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

Maina is praying the court to restrain the Senate from interfering with his official duties and from inviting him having completed and submitted their report without giving him fair hearing.

He is also asking for N100 billion as exemplary damages and N500,000 as general damages.

The respondents are the Mark, the Senate, the Clerk of the Senate, the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service and its chairman, Senator Aloysius Etok; and the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration and its chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya.

Counsel to the Senate and its committees, Ken Ikonne, yesterday urged the court to dismiss the suit.

He also faulted the further and better affidavit filed by Maina's counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN).

According to him, Order 6 Rule 2 of the Federal High Court (FHC) clearly stated what should be contained in a further and better affidavit.

He argued that no leave of court was sought by the applicant to file the affidavit, adding that all the exhibits attached to it were uncertified public documents and therefore not admissible.

Replying on point of law, Magaji urged the court to discountenance the submission because counter-affidavit could not be supported by legal argument as it offends Section 115(4) of the Evidence Act.

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