News - February 4, 2021

Pension fraud: Maina’s son, Faisal, absconds, flees to U.S. – EFCC tells court

Judge orders Rep member to forfeit property used as surety to secure bail

Faisal Maina, son of the embattled former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has fled the country to the United States of America (USA), the antigraft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) informed the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday.
On November 25, 2020, the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, presided by Justice Okon Abang granted bail to Faisal Maina, with a N60 million bond and one surety in like sum.
Faisal was arrested last September along with his father over alleged diversion of about N100billion of pension funds while serving as the Chairman of the task force.
But, Mr Maina’s son was accused by the anti-graft agency of operating an account the father used to siphon various sums of money diverted from the fund, including N58 million.
Father and son were arraigned in court by the EFCC on October 25, 2020 on separate charges. They were granted bail following their no guilty pleas.
Before granting Faisal’s bail application, the presiding judge gave the condition that the surety must be a Nigerian and a member of the House of Representatives without criminal trial before any court, apart from being an owner of landed property anywhere within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The judge further demanded Faisal to deposit with the court his American and Nigerian passports along with two of recent photographs.
At the resumed sitting of the court on the adjourned date, November 27 for continuation of trial, Faisal had jumped bail and absconded.
Consequently, Justice Abang issued an order to the security operatives to find wherever he was, arrest him and bring him back to court for trial.
The judge summoned, a member of the house of representatives from Zamfara state, Sani Dangaladimam, who stood surety for Faisal.
Justice Abang wanted the lawmaker to come and explain to the court why he should not forfeit the N60million bail bond he signed to secure Faisal’s bail.
But, at the resumed sitting of the court on Thursday, counsel to EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, told the court that information at the disposal of the anti-graft agency was that Faisal had slipped from Nigeria and sneaked into the USA through the Republic of Niger.
Earlier, Justice Abang, in a committal proceeding ruling, ordered the forfeiture of a property used as bail bond by the member of the House of Representatives, Sani Dan-Galadima. representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, who stood surety for Faisal.

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