Breaking: Ex-pension boss Maina bags 61 years imprisonment

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Abdulrasheed Maina, Ex-Pension Reform Tax Force chairman jailed for 61 years for fraud.

Breaking: Ex-pension boss Maina bags 61 years imprisonment

A Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairman of the now-defunct Pension Reformed Task Team to sixty-one years imprisonment but to run concurrently for eight years.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the convict before Justice Abang on Oct. 25, 2019, alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd on a 12-count of money laundering amounting to over N2 billion.

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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.

Delivering judgement on Monday, Justice Abang, held that the prosecutor, EFCC, had produced essential evidence through witnesses and proved beyond reasonable doubt that Maina was guilty of money laundering.

The court ordered Maina and his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, to forfeit about N2.1 billion traced to their bank accounts to the federal government, after which the company should be wound up.

Also, the court ordered that Maina’s properties at Life Camp and Jabi Districts of Abuja should be forfeited to the government.

The convict’s bulletproof car and a BMW 5 series vehicle that was found at the premises of the convict would also be auctioned and the proceeds forfeited to the federal government.

The court held that 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,” Justice Abang held.

Justice Abang also found Maina guilty of concealing his true identity as a signatory to accounts opened in two banks – UBA and Fidelity bank – by using the identity of his family members without their knowledge.

The accounts had cash deposits of N300million, N500million, and N1.5billion. The court held that Maina stole monies meant for pensioners as he could not prove where he got them from.

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.

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

A serving Senator, Ali Ndume, was also briefly jailed after he failed to provide Maina, whom he had stood surety for. Mr Ndume spent five days at the Kuje correctional centre before he was released.

Justice Abang had earlier in October sentenced Faisal, Maina’s son who is at large, to seven years imprisonment on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.

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