EFCC Operatives, Prison Officials Clash Over Maina’s custody

Abdulrasheed Maina after sentencing Photo Credit: BBC Pidgin

Tension reigned supreme at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday as officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission clashed with officials of the Nigerian Correctional Services over whose custody the jailed former chairman of the now-defunct Pension Reforms Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, should be.

Though Justice Okon Abang sentenced Maina to 61 years’ imprisonment and held that Maina should be with in NCoS but EFCC operatives disagreed with their counterparts in NCoS.

The security operatives from both the EFCC and NCoS had an altercation while attempting to take custody of Maina.

After the sentencing, prison officials, who were already on standby in the courtroom and within the court premises, led Maina out.

However, trouble started when EFCC operatives insisted that Maina must go in their vehicle. But after the clash, our correspondent, gathered that NCoS took custody of Maina.

Justice Abang had sentenced Maina to 61 years’ imprisonment on 12 counts bordering on money laundering but to run concurrently for eight years.

The court had found him guilty of inducing staff of Fidelity Bank to open bank accounts for him without conducting due diligence and money laundering.

Delivering Judgement, Justice Abang also found him guilty of concealing his true identity as signatory to accounts opened in UBA and Fidelity Bank by using the identity of his family members without their knowledge.

These accounts were said to have cash deposits of N300 million, N500 million and N1.5 billion

The court held that Maina stole monies meant for pensioners as he could not prove where he got same from.

Justice Abang also held that through Maina’s service as a civil servant, his salary and emoluments would not amount to the monies in these accounts.

The court further held that the prosecution (EFCC), produced essential evidence through witnesses called, to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Maina was also guilty of money laundering in sum of N171,099,000.

This formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act.

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