Court Jails Maina For 8 years Money Laundering

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, convicted and sentenced the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Abdulrasheed Maina, to eight years in prison for money laundering.

Justice Abang handed down the verdict after he found Maina guilty of a 12-count charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preferred against him and his company, Common Input Property and Investment Limited.

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.

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

The judge, in his judgment delivered on Monday, held that the anti-graft agency successfully established the essential ingredients of the offences contained in the charge, beyond a reasonable doubt.

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He held that the sentence would run concurrently, with effect from October 25, 2019.

The court ordered Maina and his firm to restitute about N2.1billion that was traced to their bank accounts, to the Federal Government, after which it ordered that the company should be wound up.

Besides, it ordered the forfeiture of Maina’s two choice camper tires at Life camp and Jabi districts of Abuja, to the government, as well as the auction of a bulletproof car and a BMW 5 series con that was found in the premises of the convict.

Justice Abang stressed that though the law made provision for a maximum sentence of 14 years, he said he was moved by Maina’s plea for mercy.

The judge noted that throughout Maina’s service as a civil servant his salary and emoluments could not have amounted to the monies in the accounts.

He noted that the prosecution produced essential evidence through witnesses called to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Maina is also guilty of money laundering to the tune of N171,099,000.

The judge said the amount formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

15th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph