Court jails Maina’s son 14 years in absentia for money laundering
• S’ Court reserves ruling in Union Bank’s battle against $15b judgment debt
• EECC witness exonerates ex-SGF Babachir of complicity in alleged N544m fraud
Faisal, son of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for money laundering.
He was found guilty of the offence and convicted by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Ruling yesterday, Justice Okon Abang sentenced the convict on the three-count money laundering charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge sentenced him to five years each in relation to counts one and three, and 14 years on count two, adding that the sentences are to run concurrently from the day of the judgment.
Justice Abang held among others that the prosecution, led by Mohammed Abubakar (now a judge of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory) effectively discharged the burden placed on it by law to prove the offences beyond a reasonable doubt.
He said the prosecution successfully established that Faisal operated a fictitious bank account with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) through which his father, Maina, laundered N58.1 million.
The judge stated that the funds deposited into the account, operated in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, were sequentially withdrawn by Faisal and his father between October 2013 and June 2019.
This came as the Supreme Court reserved ruling on a motion by Union Bank Plc seeking, among others, leave to appeal against a June 5, 2018 judgment of the Court of Appeal in which the bank and three others were ordered to pay an oil and gas firm – Petro Union Limited – about $15 billion.
A five-member panel of the apex court, led by Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, after listening to arguments by lawyers to the parties, said they would be informed when the ruling is ready.
Also, a witness of the EFCC, Mr. Julius Sunday Babalola, stunned an Abuja High Court with a revelation that a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) knew nothing about the N544 million contract of which criminal charges were filed against him.
Babalola told the court that the Ministerial Tenders Board for the Presidential Initiative for the North East was solely responsible for the award of the contract.
Testifying for EFCC before Justice Charles Agbasa, the witness pointedly told the court that Babachir Lawal was not a member of the Tenders Board and did not participate at any stage in awarding jobs.