By Uche Amunike
Justice can be said to have been served as the Abuja Federal High Court sentences Maina Abdulrasheed to jail for 8 years over crime of money laundering.
The former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina was convicted by the presiding Judge, Okon Abang, through whose judgement, the court sentenced Maina to jail after he had convicted him and his company, Common Input Property and Investment Limited on all the 12 counts filed against them by Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Maina was actually sentenced to various jail terms ranging from 3 to 8 years which are to run concurrently, having been jailed three years for count 1, five years for count 2, eight years for count 3, right years for count 4, two years for camp 5, five years for count 6 and eight years for count 7.
Abang also sentenced him to three years in jail for count 8, 5 years for count 9, eight years for count 10, 3 years for count 11 and 3 years for count 12.
He gave terms of imprisonment that will ensure that the court sentences Maina to jail concurrently from October 25 2019, the date he was arraigned. This implies that he will spend the longest sentence of 8 years in jail.
While the Abuja high court sentences Maina to jail, his company, the Common Input Property and Investment Limited will be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
Abang stated that Maina stole over 2 billion naira belonging to pensioners, most of whom have died, out of frustration, without reaping the fruits of their labour.
When analyzing the evidence presented in the case, Abang also submitted that the prosecution made its case against Abdulrasheed Maina who made a purchase property in Abuja with $1.4million cash. An amount which is far above the cash transaction threshold of N5million, without passing through a financial institution.
He also ruled that the prosecution showed proof that Maina hid his true identity as a signatory to the account he opened in the United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Fidelity Bank by using the identity of his family members without their knowledge, while also condemning the roles played by the banks in opening the fraudulent accounts.
Maina could not also explain the source of the humongous amount found in his bank accounts, adding that as a civil servant he could not have legitimately earned such amount from his salary and emoluments.
Recall that Abdulrasheed Maina was arraigned by the EFCC on October 25 2019 on 12 counts of Money Laundering, but pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges. He jumped bail twice during the trial but was recently arrested in Niamey, Niger Republic where he had fled.
Senator Ali Ndume, was also briefly jailed for not providing Mr Maina whom he stood surety for and spent five days at the Kuje Correctional Centre, before he was granted bail.