Alleged pension fraud: Court slates Jan 27 to rule on Maina’s bail variation application

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court on Friday slated January 27, 2020 to rule on the application for the variation of bail conditions filed by the former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Maina is being prosecuted by the EFCC on a 12-count charge, bordering on operating fictitious bank accounts, fraud and money laundering to the tune of over N2 billion, alongside his son, Faisal, who is facing a three-count charge of money laundering, corruption and lack of full disclosure of assets.

Though he was granted bail on November 25, 2019, Maina has remained in Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja due to his failure to meet up with his bail conditions.

Maina was on November 25, 2019 granted bail in the sum of N1 billion and two sureties.

The two sureties must be serving Nigerian Senators who will have to produce a bail bond of N500 million each.

The court added that the two sureties must not be standing any criminal trial in any court in the country, and must always be in court with Maina at each adjourned date.

The sureties must have landed properties fully developed in Asokoro or Maitama Districts of Abuja and must show evidence of tax clearance for three years.

The judge also ordered Maina to deposit all his travel passports, including American, Nigerian and diplomatic passport.

Unable to meet the bail conditions, Main a, through his counsel, Afam Osigwe on December 17, 2019 approached the court with an application seeking to vary the conditions.

In his response, prosecution counsel, Faruq Abdullah opposed to the application and further informed the court that he had filed a 30 paragraph counter-affidavit.

Abdullah further told the court that alongside the affidavit was a 12 paragraph additional affidavit, deposed to by a staff of the defendant, all of which he adopted and urged the court to discountenance the defendant’s application.

Meanwhile, the 5th prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the former pension boss, Khalid Aliyu Biu told the Court that Maina refused to collect a bribe of about N2 billion in dollar currency offered him by the people his task team were prosecuting during the reform.

The witness who is Maina’s brother said said Maina, instead of collecting the bribe money asked those been prosecuted to return 40 percent of the money allegedly misappropriated to the federal government for a plea bargain.

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