ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutors secured a major victory today after an Abuja federal high court sentenced the son of the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force to jail for 14 years after finding him guilty of corruption.
Faisal Maina, whose father Abdulrasheed Maina, is facing several charges of mass corruption, was found guilty on three counts of money laundering. In his judgement, Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court Abuja, held that the EFCC successfully established that Faisal operated a fictitious bank account with the United Bank for Africa, through which his father, laundered the sum of N58.1m.
According to the court, the money which was deposited into the account that was operated in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm, was sequentially withdrawn by the defendant and his father, between October 2013 and June 2019. Justice Abang said he was satisfied that the EFCC proved all the essential ingredients of the charge, stressing that the Faisal reasonably ought to have known that inflows into the bank account formed proceeds of an unlawful act of corruption by his father.
While the court sentenced the defendant to five years in counts one and three, he was sentenced to 14 years on count two, with the sentences running concurrently. In its ruling, the court ordered that Faisal, 21, who had since June 24, 2020, failed to appear for his trial, should be arrested anywhere he was found in Nigeria and remanded in any correctional service centre to serve his jail term immediately.
Justice Abang further held that in the event that the defendant was traced to anywhere outside the country, the federal government shall legally or lawfully commence extradition proceeds to bring him into Nigeria to serve the jail term. In addition, the court ordered that the company through which the fund was laundered, be wound up, with funds in it forfeited to the government.
On November 24, 2020, the court had issued a bench warrant for security agencies to arrest Faisal wherever he is found, shortly after his bail was revoked. In court, the EFCC had called three witnesses that testified on the matter.