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HomeGlobalDrama As Maina Slumps In Court

Drama As Maina Slumps In Court

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By Babajide Okeowo

There was a slight drama at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja as the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT Abdulrasheed Maina slumped as his counsel, Anayo Adibe was making submissions before Justice Okon Abang handling his trial.

Maina slumped at around 10.05 a.m shortly after the court resumed proceedings in the 12-count charge preferred against him and his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But after Maina collapsed, the court rose abruptly to enable officials of the Correctional Service and relations of the former pension boss to attend to him.

Recall that Maina’s ill-health has been a major reason for his prolonged trial. In November 2019, his trial was stalled after a medical expert testified to his inability to appear before the court due to health reasons.

At the resumed trial, EFCC had in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/256/2019, alleged that Maina used a bank account that was operated by his firm and laundered funds to the tune of about N2 billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.

It told the court that the Defendant used fictitious names to open and operate various bank accounts, as well as recruited his relatives that were bankers to operate fake bank accounts through which illicit funds were channeled. The Prosecution told the court that contrary to financial regulations, the banks opened phony accounts for the Defendant, without conducting due diligence to ascertain the true identities of the owners. It told the court that some of the bogus names Maina used to operate the accounts in a bid to conceal his true identity, included Aliyu Nafisatu and Dr. Abdullahi A. Fisal.

In count three of the charge, EFCC alleged that the Defendant had sometime in 2014, took possession of the sum of N171.91million that was paid into one of the accounts he operated with one bank (name withheld). He was in count four, alleged to have taken possession of $360, 588.27, knowing that the same was proceeds of unlawful activity.

Maina was alleged to have in 2012, opened account number 4510002782 with his pseudo name, Dr. Fisal, and subsequently wired $1.822m into the account. In count 11, EFCC told the court that without going through any financial institution, the Defendant paid a cash sum of $1.4m to purchase a property in Abuja. It said that the Defendant had on June 27, 2012, made a cash payment of $2m through one Adamu Modibbo, for the purchase of another property in the Jabi District of Abuja. The prosecution maintained that the Defendants committed criminal offences punishable under sections 11(2) (a), 15(3), and 16(2) (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, and also acted in breach of the Advance Fee Fraud Act.

Recall that Maina was recently extradited by the INTERPOL to Nigeria from the Niger Republic where he has been hiding.

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