Maina’s son jailed 14 years, father applies to reopen defence - OPID News

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Thursday 7 October 2021

Maina’s son jailed 14 years, father applies to reopen defence

 Maina’s son jailed 14 years, father applies to reopen defence

Faisal Maina

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday sentenced, Faisal Maina, the son of former chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce Team, to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Faisal, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, was found guilty by Justice Okon Abang on three counts bordering on money laundering filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The court held that the anti-graft agency successfully established that Faisal, operated a fictitious bank account with the United Bank for Africa, through which his father, Maina, laundered the sum of N58.1m.

According to the court, the money which was deposited into the account that was operated in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm 2,  was sequentially withdrawn by the defendant and his father, between October 2013 and June 2019.

Justice Abang said he was satisfied that the EFCC proved all the essential ingredients of the charge, stressing that the Fisal reasonably ought to have known that inflows into the bank account formed proceeds of an unlawful act of corruption by his father.

While the court sentenced the defendant to five years in counts one and three, he was sentenced to 14 years on count two.

The court held that the charge would run concurrently, starting from Thursday.

The court ordered that the 21-year-old Faisal, who had since June 24, 2020, failed to appear for his trial, should be arrested anywhere he was found in Nigeria and remanded in any Correctional Service Centre to serve his jail term.

Abang further held that in the event that the defendant was traced to “anywhere outside the country, the Federal Government shall legally or lawfully commence extradition proceeds to bring him into the country to serve the jail term.”

The court ordered that the company through which the fund was laundered, Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, be wound up, with funds in it forfeited to the government.

The EFCC had alleged that Maina’s son had sometimes between 2013 and 2019, received the sum of N58.11m, being proceeds of a corrupt act by his father.

He was also accused of failing to properly declare his assets before the EFCC.

The EFCC had earlier told the court that it got intelligence report that Faisal had escaped to the United States of America.

Meanwhile, the former shairman of the Pension Reform Task Team asked the Hgh Court to reopen his defence.

Maina is also standing trial on six counts of allegedly laundering N2bn.

The court had in the absence of defendant counsel closed his defence on July 16, 2021.

When the matter resumed on Thursday, the lawyer for Maina, Anayo Adibe, prayed the court to allow him move his application seeking to reopen the defendant defence

 Adibe said the application was seeking to set aside the order of the court made on July 16, which closed the defendant defence.

The application, according to him, was also seeking to reopen Maina’s defence in the interest of fair hearing and justice.

He said the counsel was not served with the hearing notice for July 16, 2021.

His contention drew the attention of the trial court judge who called for the record of service.

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