Another Maina’s sister disowns account opened in her name

Abdulrasheed Maina

Another younger sister of Abdulrasheed Maina, Mrs. Nafisat Aliyu, on Wednesday, appeared before the Federal High Court in Abuja to testify against him in his ongoing trial.

Aliyu made the second of Maina’s sisters to testify against him in his ongoing corruption trial after their sister, Mrs Fatima Abdullahi, appeared in court for the same purpose on December 12, 2019.

Maina, a former Chairman of the then Pension Reform Task Team, along with his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on money laundering charges involving the sum of N2bn of pensioners’ fund.

His first sister to appear as a witness in the case, Abdullahi, testified against him behind a screen with her face only seen by the judge, Justice Okon Abang, in December.

But testifying on Wednesday, Aliyu, who wore a veil that left her face uncovered, spoke from the witness box without any screen shielding her from the lawyers and the court’s audience.

They sat in opposite sides of the courtroom with Aliyu facing the judge and Maina facing the direction of his sister.

Maina maintained a straight face throughout the proceedings even when his sister who kept such countenance intermittently smiled in the course of fielding questions.

There was no eye contact between the two of them throughout the proceedings and did not exchange greetings despite passing by each other at the end of the proceedings.

Led in evidence by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, Aliyu, a civil servant, testifying as the fourth prosecution witness, narrated to the judge, Justice Okon Abang, how it took her three to four years to realise the existence of a bank account linked to her brother but was opened with her name without her knowledge.

The witness, a master’s student, recalled that she started receiving transaction alerts from the account about three to four years after a former tenant in their family house and employee of a new generation bank, Mr. Oluwatoyin Meseke, collected her utility bill without disclosing what he intended to do with it.

When shown the account opening documents for the bank account she was asked to talk about, she confirmed that the passport photograph which appeared on them was her picture and the data page of the passport contained in the set of documents was hers.

She, however, said the signature and the residential address appearing on the account opening form were not hers.

She also said she was a civil servant and not into importing and exporting stated as her occupation in the documents.

Aliyu also denied knowledge of the transactions carried out on the account including the transfer of N2.31m from the account to her brother on February 1, 2012.

She said, “Some years back, in Wuse 2, Abuja, Oluwatoyin Meseke, came to my house and he asked if I could give him my utility bill, which I did.

“About three to four years later, I started seeing alerts. That was when it came to my head that I gave Toyin my utility bill.

“Then I called him, and I told him that he was the only one I ever gave my utility bill and I asked him why I was seeing alerts because they (the alerts) were coming from a bank where he works.

“He said he was sorry that he was going to do something about it, but the alerts kept coming.

“I called him again and told him that I was going to go to his office to create drama if he did not do something about it. He apologised.

“That was when I last saw alerts and I continued with my normal life.”



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