Surety forfeits property as Maina’s son flees

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday  ordered the forfeiture of a N60 million property deposited as a surety for Faisal Maina, son of detained former chairman of the Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The property belongs to a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Dan-Galadima, who stood surety for Faisal.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is prosecuting father and son for alleged fraud, had told the court on Thursday that Faisal had fled to the United States through Republic of Niger.

This is the second time that Faisal has disappeared from Nigeria in the course of the trial.

Prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, told Justice Okon Abang that the suspect had slipped out of the country.

The court had admitted the suspect to bail on November 26, 2019 in the sum of N60m and by a person who must be a member of the House of Representatives.

Dan-Galadima had on December 11, 2019 agreed to stand surety for the accused person and to present him in court at every hearing.

Faisal has been standing trial on a three-count money laundering charge but jumped bail and didn’t appear in court.

The court on November 24, 2020 then revoked his bail and ordered his arrest.

He was eventually 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 Thursday, December 10, 2020.

One of the charges for which Faizal is being prosecuted reads: “That you Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, (alias Alh Faisal Abdullahi Farms), between October 2013 and June 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, controlled an aggregate sum of N58, 111,585.00 (Fifty-eight Million, One Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty-five Naira) only, paid through the United Bank for Africa (UBA) account of Alh. Faisal Abdullahi Farms, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: corruption of one Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, who is facing a separate charge and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as (amended) and punishable under Section15(3) and (4) of the same Act.”

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

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