A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday sentenced the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to eight years imprisonment.
A judgement being delivered by Okon Abang, the trial judge, the court earlier found him guilty, saying Maina stole over N2 billion belonging to pensioners, “most of whom have died without reaping the fruits of their labour.”
“I find the defendant (Mr Maina) guilty and convicted in count 2, 6, 9, 3, 7 and 10,” the judge said.
Mr Maina’s son, Faisal, a month ago, was found guilty on all three counts of money laundering involving N58.1million in public funds.
Faisal was jailed in abasentia having jumped bail.
On October 2, 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Maina before Justice Abang, and firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd on a 12-count money laundering charge filed.
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.
The judge said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has produced essential evidence through witnesses called, to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Maina is guilty of money laundering in the sum of N171,099,000.
The court said Maina called only one witness to his defense when he had the opportunity to call as many as he could.
The evidence in chief of the witness did not help the defendant as they did not relate to the charges against the defendants, the court rules.
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.
These accounts in question had cash deposits of N300million, N500million, and N1.5billion
The judge held that Maina stole monies meant for pensioners as he could not prove where he got them from.
The court said that through Maina’s service as a civil servant, his salary and emoluments will not amount to the monies in these accounts.
The court also found Maina guilty for the purchase of a property in Abuja paid in cash in the sum of $1.4million, which is above the statutory threshold of N5million and without passing through a financial institution, describing it as a criminal offense.