Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, October 7, convicted and sentenced the son of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, Faisal, to 14 years imprisonment over the three-count money laundering charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
EFCC had dragged Faisal before the court on grounds that sometime between 2013 and 2019, he received the sum of N58.11million, being proceeds of a corrupt act by his father. He was also accused of failing to properly declare his assets before the EFCC. Faisal had reportedly pulled a gun to challenge operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS that arrested his father at a hotel in Abuja on September 30, 2019.
Delivering judgment on the case filed against Faisal, the judge held that the anti-graft agency successfully established that Faisal, operated a fictitious bank account with the United Bank for Africa, UBA, through which his father, Maina, laundered the sum of N58.1million.
The court noted that the said fund which was deposited into the account that was operated in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, was sequentially withdrawn by the Defendant and his father, between October 2013 and June 2019. Justice Abang said he was satisfied that the EFCC proved all the essential ingredients of the charge, stressing that Defendant reasonably ought to have known that inflows into the bank account formed proceeds of an unlawful act of corruption by his father.
While the court sentenced Defendant to 5 years in count 1 and 3 of the charge, he was sentenced to 14 years on count 2 of the charge. The court held that the charge would run concurrently, starting from today.
The court ordered that the 21-year-old Faisal, who had since June 24, 2020, failed to appear for his trial, should be arrested anywhere he is found in Nigeria and remanded in any Correctional Service Center to serve his jail term immediately.
It further held that in the event that the Defendant traced to anywhere outside the country, the Federal Government, “shall legally or lawfully commence extradition proceeds to bring him into the country to serve the jail term”. The court ordered that the company through which the fund was laundered, Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, be wound up, with funds in it forfeited to the government.