By Nimot Adetola Sulaimon
A third prosecution witness, Rouqayya Ibrahim has exposed the contradictory statements of Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team during his trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
PM NEWS notes that Faisal is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge of money laundering and false declaration of assets.
Rouqayya, a Principal Detective Superintendent (PDS) with the EFCC, stated in the testimony, that Faisal Maina made contradictory statements concerning the registration of a company he allegedly used in siphoning funds to the tune of N58million.
According to the PW3, the defendant stated upon interrogation that Northrich Properties International Nig Ltd was registered by one Barrister Oladosu F Ariyo; that the names of its directors are: Abdurrasheed Faisal, Muhammed Abore and Salisu Maina Maina Usman and that he received payments through bank transfer from one Alhaji Abdullahi of Faisal Farms.
“We asked him questions regarding his written statement of October 3, 2019, regarding the company because we noticed that he did not declare his assets. And also, regarding Faisal Farms’ bank account and the funding of the account, Faisal, stated that the company, Faisal Farms, has two signatories, his father, himself and that he was a signatory to the account,” the witness said, revealing on the contrary, that Faisal Farms does not have a farm, and that the defendant told the EFCC in his statement that the account was his personal account, funded by his parents.
According to the PW3, the defendant was shown the deed of assignment between one Mrs Rose AF Molueke and Faisal Abdurrasheed Maina concerning a house bought for him by his father in 2003, and he denied knowing the buyers of the said house and plots of land.
“When he filed the asset declaration form, there is a space for the immovable asset in or outside Nigeria and he declared only one house as a gift from his father, but he did not declare the house that I just read out from his statement of October 4, 2019, and there is also a part in the asset declaration form, part ‘K’ where he is supposed to mention if there are properties where he has an interest as a beneficiary, trustee or being filled on his behalf, all were filled as none,” the witness said.
The witness further pointed out that there were companies and properties the defendant failed to declare and was also operating an account which he is not the owner of the business name.
Faisal Maina has neither been in court nor sent legal representation in the four consecutive adjournments of his trial since November 26, 2019, when he was released on bail.
This prompted Justice Abang to revoke his bail and issued a bench warrant against him and ruled that his trial will continue in his absence on November 18, 2020.
Additionally, the judge ruled that his surety, Hon Sani Umar San Galadima, of the House of Representatives, representing Kaura Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State should appear in court today to show cause why he should not forfeit his N60million bail bond for his failure to produce the defendant in court.
While prosecution counsel, M.S Abubakar, prayed the court to make the surety to show cause why he should not forfeit his bail bond.
Counsel to the surety, M. E Shariff informed the court that his client had to drive from Birnin Magaji, Zamfara State to Abuja when he got the news of the orders of the court.
He appealed that the court grants him a short date of adjournment to enable him to prove his case, stating further that he was only hired today by the surety.
Prosecution counsel agreed with the defence counsel on the adjournment, stating that the prosecution has also not served the surety the court summons.
Justice Okon Abang adjourned till December 4, 2020, for hearing on the application for forfeiture of the surety’s bail bond.