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Surety forfeits property as Faisal Maina flees

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Federal High Court, Abuja

Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered forfeiture to Federal Government a property belonging to Sani Dan-Galadima, a member of House of Representatives, representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, who stood surety to Faisal Maina.

The property was used as a bail bond for Faisal, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), who is being prosecuted for money laundering by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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The forfeiture followed the disappearance of Faisal, for the second time, in the course of his prosecution.

At the resumed hearing of the case, prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, told the court that the defendant, from information at his disposal, had fled to the United States of America, (USA) through the Republic of Niger.

The development made the court to enter into a committal proceeding and ordered the forfeiture of the property to the government.

It would be recalled that the court had on November 26, 2019, admitted Faisal to bail in the sum of N60 million, with a surety in like sum who must be a member of House of Representatives.

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Dan-Galadima had deposed to an affidavit of means, on December 11, 2019, to always come to court at every adjourned date and to produce Faisal during the trial.

Faisal is facing a separate three-count bordering on money laundering. He had earlier jumped bail and stopped coming to court, a development that forced Justice Abang to revoke the bail granted him and ordered his arrest on November 24, 2020, even as his trial continued in absentia. Faisal was arrested on December 9, 2020.

Consequently, the surety’s lawyer, Mr. M. E. Sheriff, urged the court to suspend the hearing of the forfeiture proceedings earlier entered on December 10, 2020.

One of the charges against Faisal is that between October 2013 and June 2019, he controlled N58, 111,585.00 paid through United Bank for Africa account of Alhaji Faisal Abdullahi Farms, when he ought to have known that the said funds formed part of proceeds of the unlawful activity of one Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, who is facing a separate charge, and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as (amended).

The case has been adjourned to March 31, 2021, for the continuation of trial.

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