The antics by Abdulrasheed Maina, the chairman of the former Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT to escape justice in Nigeria fell flat on the face, Friday with the resumption of his trial for money laundry in Abuja, Friday.
Maina was brought before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he was extradited to Nigeria from the Niger Republic by the Interpol.
Mr. Maina who jumped bail before his re-arrest in Niamey, Niger is standing trial for alleged money laundering to the tune of two billion naira.
He was re-arrested after he jumped bail and was declared wanted by an Abuja High Court, however, while he was away, his trial went on in absentia.
A witness on Thursday told an Abuja high court that Maina, bought a property worth $2 million in the Jabi area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The prosecution witness, Rouqayyah Ibrahim speaking before Justice Okong Abang stated that the defendant also acquired properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as well as the United States.
Ibrahim, who is the prosecution witness nine (PW9) and a detective of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), told the court that a prosecution witness, Adamu Modibbo, who testified to the EFCC regarding the said Jabi property, reportedly died of COVID-19 after his statement to the commission.
She added that about 32 documents, hard discs, and flash drives relating to properties linked to Maina and his family and details of some of his investments in Dubai and in the US were recovered from him.
“Particularly in Dubai, investigation revealed that his company, Northrich Company owned over 50 cars that were used for transportation business and he owns a villa in a High Ground area in Dubai.
“His wife Laila Abdulrasheed also owns cleaning services, called Spotless and Flawless. We also recovered pay slips during our investigation,” Ibrahim told the court.
She also disclosed that investigation proved that another of Maina’s company, Kangolo Dynamic, does no business but that the defendant created a bank account for it in which his name did not appear anywhere on the account documentation even though he was in control of all the deposits in it.
The EFCC operative stated that the investigation showed that Colster Logistics, belonging to Maina, had a Fidelity Bank dollar account which had an inflow of over $400,000 from cash deposits as at the time the company was investigated.
She said over N500 million was discovered in the account of Kangolo Dynamic, within the years Maina was PRTT chairman.
According to the witness, in the course of the investigation, letters were written to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), to verify the authenticity of the driver’s license used in opening some of the accounts; Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for Maina’s declared assets; Federal Civil Service Commission, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), and Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), to confirm if Maina was still a civil servant and for his payslips.
Also written was the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for the tax returns of his companies and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for the registration documentation of the companies and their annual returns.
After all the documents and written responses of the government agencies were tendered as exhibits, the prosecution counsel, M.S. Abubakar, prayed the court to foreclose the right of the defendants to respond to the admissibility of the documents.
In his ruling, Justice Abang upheld the prosecution’s prayer, noting that opportunity was offered to the defendants to be in court to oppose the admissibility of the document in evidence, but they failed to appear and also failed to engage counsel of their choice.
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