Sunday, December 4, 2022
Coca Cola Super Brand Day
HomeLatest newsCourt dismisses Maina’s suit against Aregbesola, NCoS DG

Court dismisses Maina’s suit against Aregbesola, NCoS DG



Maina in court

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by Abdulrasheed Maina, against the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Controller General, Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, over his alleged ill-health.

Justice Ekwo who delivered the judgment said Maina had not provided any tangible evidence to back his claim that the minister and the CG infringed on his basic right as provided by the law of the country.

“In my opinion, this application is a ruse. It is an attempt to belittle the essence of criminal conviction and to aid the applicant (Maina) to live above the law.

“I find that the application lacks merit and I make an order dismissing it,” Justice Ekwo declared.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Maina, the former Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team, had, on Oct. 17, filed a motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1729/2022.

Maina (the applicant) listed the minister and the CG of NCoS as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively, in a motion dated and filed on September 27.

Maina, who is currently serving an eight-year jail term at Kuje Prison for pension fraud to the tune of N2 billion, had told the court that he is suffering from a life-threatening disease in the prison and he needs urgent medical attention.

The ex-pension reformed boss prayed the court for an interim order directing the minister and the CG, via their staff or agents, to immediately take him to a reputable and recognised hospital for treatment of his life-threatening diseases pending the hearing and determination of his originating motion.

Giving 10 grounds why the motion should be granted, Maina said the failure to treat the diseases/sicknesses he is suffering had led to his incapacitation and deterioration of his health.

According to him, there is already a likelihood of contravention or infringement of the applicant’s rights to life, the dignity of the person and freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, among others.

But in their joint counter affidavit in opposition to Maina’s originating motion the minister and the CG said “it has become glare from the intelligence report at their disposal that the applicant (Maina) only feigns the ailments for him to be taken out of the custodial facility to aid his escape from lawful custody.”

In their application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1719/22, dated and filed Oct. 31, the duo said contrary to Maina’s claim, he was never refused access to medical services, but that Maina would not be allowed to hide under medical services to escape from lawful custody.

They described the medical reports he produced as “self-induced.”

They argued that Maina had access to medical attention at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, where he had severally been attended to; and that the exhibits attached amply bore out these facts.

They said it became obvious that Maina’s referral to the hospital was a mere gimmick to take him out of lawful custody.

They said the operatives of the NCoS received a confidential, top-secret intelligence report that Maina, through the act, was planning his escape with “armed gunmen” suspected to be loyal to him.

They said that Maina, who was arraigned on October 25, 2019, on a 12-count charge though pleaded not guilty, he, however, jumped bail after being granted the bail on health grounds.

They said that Senator Ali Ndume, who stood as Maina’s surety, was remanded in Kuje prison until Maina was rearrested.

The minister and the CG, who told the court that Maina was only raising false health alarms, urged the court to dismiss the suit.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Ekwo held that by taking Maina to the Cardiological Department, Orthopaedic and ENT Departments of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada about 23 times, as stated in the exhibits provided, showed that he had been provided with medical attention and treatment suitable for his station in life as at the time of filing the application.

“Taking a prisoner to a hospital twenty-three times demonstrates care and attention on the part of the custodial authorities.

“The allegation of the applicant that the refusal of the respondents to take the applicant to a reputable and recognised hospital for medical attention or treatment, cannot be founded in the circumstance of this case,” he said

According to the judge, if the applicant, by the allegation, is saying that the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital is not a ‘reputable and recognised hospital’, then the applicant has lost it.

“I hereby state categorically that a teaching hospital in Nigeria is a reputable and recognised hospital,” Ekwo said.

He said as it is accepted universally that prisoners have a right to receive medical treatment, he said such prisoners generally do not have a right to choose a specific medical treatment and cannot hold the state to ransom on such demand.

“This application, in my opinion, is dear evidence of the fact that the applicant is yet to undergo any degree of reformation that his conviction and sentence to prison custody is meant to achieve.

“From the evidence before me, it is manifestly dear that the applicant is not just looking for medical treatment but an indulgent lifestyle white in prison.

“He wants to be treated as a privileged person with absolute rights and privileges.

“It is either the applicant does not understand the limitations of a custodial life or is pretending not to do so.

“The court will not interfere with the actions and decisions of the custodial authorities once it is demonstrated that they acted within the confines of the statute regulating the performance of their functions.

NAN

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments