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Fleeing Maina’s son Faisal bags 14-year jail

Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, convicted and sentenced the son of former Chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Faisal Maina, to 14 years imprisonment.

Faisal, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, was found guilty on three counts of money laundering filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The court held that the anti-graft agency successfully established that Faisal operated a fictitious bank account with the United Bank for Africa, through which his father, Maina, laundered the sum of N58.1million.

According to the court, the money which was deposited into the account that was operated in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, was sequentially withdrawn by the defendant and his father, between October 2013 and June 2019.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 1 and 3 of the charge, he was sentenced to 14 years on count 2 of the charge.

The court held that the charge would run concurrently, starting from Thursday.

The court ordered that the 21-year-old Faisal, 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 Center to serve his jail term immediately.

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 the country to serve the jail term.”

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The court ordered that the company through which the fund was laundered, Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, be wound up, with funds in it forfeited to the government.

It was reported that the court had on November 24, 2020, issued a bench warrant for security agencies to arrest Faisal wherever he is found, shortly after his bail was revoked.

The EFCC closed its case against him after it called three witnesses that testified in the matter.

The agency alleged that Maina’s son had some time between 2013 and 2019, received the sum of N58.11million, being proceeds of a corrupt act by his father.

He was also accused of failing to properly declare his assets before the EFCC.

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