Court convicts Maina of N2billlion pension fraud charges

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday found the chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, guilty of money laundering charges.

In a judgement being delivered by Okon Abang, the trial judge, the court held that Mr Maina stole over N2 billion belonging to Pensioners, “most of whom have died without reaping the fruits of their labour,” the judge said.

“I find the defendant (Mr Maina) guilty and convicted in count 2, 6, 9, 3, 7 and 10,” Mr Abang held.

A month ago, the court jailed Mr Maina’s son, Faisal, after finding him guilty on all three counts of money laundering involving N58.1million in public funds.

There has been no report that Faisal, who faced a trial separate from his father, has been apprehended and put in jail.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Mr Maina before Mr Abang, on October 25, 2019, and firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd.

Mr Maina was tried on a 12-count money laundering charge filed against him by the EFCC.

Part of the allegations against him is that he used his firm to launder N2 billion and also used some of it to acquire properties in Abuja.

He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Mr Maina had jumped bail twice in the course of the trial. He was recently arrested in Niamey, Niger Republic, where he had fled.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how a senator, Ali Ndume, was briefly jailed after he failed to provide Mr Maina, whom he had stood surety for. Mr Ndume spent five days at the Kuje correctional centre before he was granted bail.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/256/2019, EFCC alleged that Maina 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 channelled.

The verdict is ongoing, as the judge said, “it’s a long judgement, which I don’t want to scare counsel.”

Source: Premium Times

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