The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday has remanded a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abulrasheed Maina, in prison, till the end of his trial.
Newsonspot.com.ng reports that Justice Okon Abang gave the order following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecution counsel, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar.
Ruling on the EFCC’s application for a remand order, Justice Abang said, “The defendant is already on bench warrant having jumped bail.
“So he shall be remanded in correctional centre pending the conclusion of the trial.”
A lawyer, Adaji Abel, who newly took over Maina’s defence on Friday after his former counsel withdrew from the case, appealed to the judge to adjourn the case to enable him to prepare adequately for the case.
The judge acceded to the request and adjourned till December 8.
Recall that Maina who is under prosecution on N2bn money laundering charges jumped bail and fled to the Republic of Niger.
He was, however, extradited to Nigeria on Thursday weeks after the court revoked his bail, ordered his arrest and also noted that his trial would proceed in his absence pending when security agencies would produce him.
Maina last attended court in July and has subsequently missed up to six court sessions since September 29.
He was re-arrested in Niamey, Niger Republic through a collaboration between intelligence operatives of Niger and their counterparts in Nigeria.
He was extradited back to Nigeria on Thursday for the continuation of his trial.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, a witness, Rouqayyah Ibrahim, told the court that the defendant purchased a property worth $2 million in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding that he also purchased properties in Dubai, the United States of America & the UAE.
The witness also added that another witness who testified before the court concerning the said property in the FCT, died from complications from COVID-19 after he had given his statement to the EFCC.
Ms Ibrahim also added that 32 documents including flash drives and hard discs, all containing information about asset and investments belonging to Mr Maina and his family were recovered.
“Particularly in Dubai, investigation revealed that his company, Northrich Company owned over 50 cars that were used for transportation business and he owns a villa in a high ground area in Dubai,” she said.
“His wife Laila Abdulrasheed, also owns cleaning services, called Spotless and Flawless. We also recovered pay slips during our investigation.”
Furthermore, she added that Mr Maina created a bank account for a company he owns; Kangolo Dynamic, which is not in business but he had control of the deposits made in the account even though his name did not appear on the accounts documentation.
Ms Ibrahim said Kangolo Dynamic accounts had N500 million in it during Mr Maina’s tenure as PRTT Chairperson.
She also said that investigations revealed that another company, Colster Logistics, which belonged to Mr Maina had a Fidelity domiciliary account which had over $40,000 deposited in it at the time of the investigation.
In his ruling, Mr Abang upheld the prosecution’s petition, adding that the defendant was offered several opportunities to oppose the documents in evidence as admissible or not but failed to appear in court.