Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja has convicted Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), on charges of money laundering.
In 2019, the former pension boss was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but pleaded not guilty to a 12-count charge of money laundering of N2 billion brought against him.
In his judgement, the trial judge held that Maina stole over N2billion pension funds.
The judge said that Maina is guilty of concealing his true identity as a signatory to accounts opened in two banks, UBA and Fidelity Bank by using the identities of his family members without their knowledge.
The accounts had cash deposits of N300 million, N500 million, and N1.5billion.
He said throughout Maina’s service as a civil servant, his salary and emoluments could not amount to the monies in those accounts.
The court also found Maina guilty of purchasing a property in Abuja, with cash, in the sum of $1.4 million, which is above the statutory threshold of N5million and without passing through a financial institution.
The court found him guilty of all 12 counts and sentenced him to eight years imprisonment.
The judge said although the law made provision for a maximum sentence of 14 years, he was moved by Maina’s plea of allocutus, a plea made to the court by a defendant who has been found guilty prior to being sentenced.
The judge held that the sentence would run concurrently, with effect from October 25, 2019, which is the date of arraignment.
The court ordered Maina and his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, to forfeit about N2.1billion traced to their bank accounts to the federal government, after which the company should be wound up.
Also, the court ordered that Maina’s properties at Life Camp and Jabi Districts of Abuja should be forfeited to the government.
The convict’s bulletproof car and a BMW 5 series vehicle that was found at the premises of the convict would also be auctioned and the proceeds forfeited to the government.
Recall that last month, Justice Abang sentenced Faisal, Maina’s son, who is at large, to seven years imprisonment on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.