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JUST IN: Maina’s Son Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison In Absentia

Court has sentenced the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Faisal Maina to 14 years in prison in absentia.

Gatekeepers News reports that a federal high court in Abuja on Thursday, sentenced 21-year-old Faisal, son of Maina to 14 years imprisonment in absentia for money laundering charges.

The trial judge, Okon Abang, in the judgment delivered in Faisal’s absence found Faisal guilty on a three-count money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Court held that the EFCC successfully established that Faisal, operated a fictitious bank account with the United Bank for Africa, UBA, through which his father, Maina, laundered the sum of N58.1million.

Faisal, who is standing trial on charges of money laundering, jumped bail and has refused to attend trial since November 24, 2020.

For Count 1, Justice Abang ordered that he be jailed for five years. In count two, he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with effect from today, Thursday, October 7, 2021.

The Judge also ordered Faisal to return the sum of N58.1m to the Federal Government.

For count three, he was jailed for five years.

The court held that the terms would run concurrently.

The court further ordered the Federal Government to arrest Faisal wherever he is found in Nigeria and commit him to a correctional Center, but lawfully extradite him to face his sentence if arrested outside Nigeria.

On February 24, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alerted the court that Faisal was on the run to the United States Of America (USA).

EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar disclosed that from the information at the disposal of the commission, despite having Faisal’s Nigerian and American passports with the registry of the court, he sneaked to the USA through the Republic of Niger.

The Anti-Graft Counsel said, “We have a bench warrant of the court for the arrest of the defendant and his apprehension before the court.

“We have been making serious efforts to execute the bench warrant but it has met challenges. The defendant has absconded to the USA.”

Faisal Maina’s lawyer, Anayo Adibe, however, disputed the claim of the prosecution as he insisted that his client was arrested by the Nigeria Police Force in Sokoto.

Adibe, therefore, urged the court to open an inquiry as to the true whereabouts of his client.

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