Pension Trust Reforms’ Fraud: Faisal Jailed 14 Years in Absentia

*Father Awaits Turn

FAISAL son of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce, Abdulrasheed Maina, is to spend the next 14 years in jail. This was the verdict, on Thursday, of an Abuja Federal High Court, preside over by Justice Okon Abang.

The court found the 21 year-old Faisal guilty on all three counts of the N58.1m money laundering charges, involving public funds, levelled against him.

It would be recalled that Faisal jumped bail in the course of the trial and so was not in court when the judgement was delivered. However, the Court gave him a 14 year sentence on the second count, five years each on the first and third counts. He will spend 14 years in jail as the sentence will run concurrently.

While passing the sentence, the court noted that the prosecution, the EFCC, proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt, having clearly established that Faisal operated a fictitious UBA account in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, into and from which his father laundered N58.1m

The defendant reasonably ought to have known that inflows into the bank account formed proceeds of an unlawful act of corruption by his father, Mr Maina,” the judge averred while delivering judgement.

Faisal, according to the court, is a fugitive for jumping bail and should be arrested anywhere he is found and be sent to a Correctional centre to serve his sentence, adding that the federal government “shall legally or lawfully commence extradition process to bring him into the country to serve the jail term.” in the event he is located anywhere outside Nigeria. In addition, the Court ordered that the company, Faisal Farm, should be liquidated, with accruing proceeds forefeitted to the federal government.

Meanwhile, the trial of his father, Abdulrasheed Maina, on separate N2bn money laundering charges, by the same judge, is ongoing.

Like the son, Maina senior jumped bailed but was traced to a neighbouring country where he was arrested and subsequently extradited back the country to resume his trial. He has remained in detention since then.

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