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Fmr. Pension boss Maina and son arraigned, remanded in custody

Valentine Chinyem

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A former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja alongside his son and company over allegations.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday arraigned Maina and his son, Faisal on 12-count charges and three-count charges respectively of money laundering and concealment of proceeds of the unlawful act.

Justice Okon Abang on Friday remanded Maina and his son in custody pending the hearing of their bail applications on November 19 and 6 respectively.

Following the defendants’ plea of not guilty defence counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) applied for their bail but EFCC counsel M.S. Abubakar.

But in his ruling, Justice Abang held that the bail application already filed before their arraignment, explaining that under Section 356(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) cannot be granted without the taking of the plea.

The judge remanded Maina in prison custody while Faisal was remanded at the Police Command, Abuja pending the commencement of trial on October 30.

In the charges, Maina was alleged to have between September and December 2014 induced UBA staff one Mairo Mohammed Bashir, his sister-in-law to open a bank account in the name of Common Input Properties and Investments Ltd without conducting due diligence.

He was also alleged to have taken possession of the sums of N171.9m in cash, the sum of $316, 588.27 and $314.6m proceeds of unlawful transactions between 2014 and 2017, and 2015 and 2018, and 2011 and 2014 respectively.

He was also alleged to have between 2012 and 2016 taken possession of the sum of N1.8bn in his Fidelity Bank Plc account in the name Abdullahi Zaki.

He was also alleged to have in April 2012 and June 2012 made cash payments of $1.4m and $2m to one Ali Sani and Adamu Modibbo respectively for the purchase of property at Life Camp and Jabi, all in Abuja.

In the three-count charges, Faisal was alleged to have between October 2013 and June 2019 opened an anonymous account with the UBA as Alhaji Faisal Abdullahi Farma II while concealing his identity.

He was also alleged to have indirectly controlled a UBA account with an aggregate sum of N58.1m as well as failed to declare his asset in his EFCC Asset Declaration Form dated October 3, 2019.

The offences are against sections 1, 11, 15(2) and 27 of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and EFCC Act.