By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have said that former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, after jumping bail tried to elope to the United States of America where he and his family are citizens.
The Anti-graft Commission made this claim in a fresh court document revealing that his intentions when he sneaked to Niger republic was to obtain new travel documents at the U.S Embassy in Niamey.
“After jumping court bail, Maina sneaked to the Niger Republic to obtain new travel documents at the US Embassy in Niamey to enable him flee back to the US where he and his family are equally citizens, the document read.
EFCC stated that this was because his initial travel documents were deposited with the Registrars of the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in fulfillment of conditions attached to the bail granted him last year.
The commission filed the recent document to oppose a fresh bail application by Maina arguing that the court must not grant the former fugitive bail again based on this. They also faulted any claims of deteriorating health which Maina’s bail application is anchored on.
The EFCC in an affidavit filed October last year debunked claims of Maina undergoing treatment of his knee at the Maitama General Hospital, Abuja.
Maina was first arraigned before Justice Abang, on 25 Oct. 2019, by the EFCC, alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2 billion, allegations that he denied.
On Nov. 18, Justice Abang ordered Maina’s arrest following his refusal to appear in court since Sept. 29 when his case resumed.
Sen. Ali Ndume (APC – Borno), who stood surety for Maina, was remanded in prison custody on Nov. 23, for failure to produce him in court.
He was granted bail five days after, on grounds of his good conduct.
Maina was, however, produced in court on Dec. 4, by security operatives after he was arrested in neighboring Niger Republic and extradited to Nigeria.
Afterward, the former pension boss reportedly suffered a partial stroke at the Kuje correctional center where he is being detained.
His lawyer, Anayo Adibe who spoke in an interview with We FM, said his client is in a “very bad shape” and needs adequate medical attention.
Anayo also added that he has filed an application for his client to be granted bail on health grounds.