Nigeria

Witness: Abdulrasheed Maina hides assets using son Faisal’s name

An EFCC operative, Mohammed Goji has revealed how Abdulrasheed Maina, former Pension Reform Task Team boss, illegally acquired several properties using his son, Faisal’s name.

An EFCC operative Mohammed Goji has revealed how Abdulrasheed Maina, former Pension Reform Task Team boss, illegally acquired several properties using his son, Faisal’s name.

Goji, who is a Principal Detective Superintendent with the anti-graft agency, was also the second prosecution witness (PW2) in the ongoing trial of Faisal.

Goji, a member of Pension Fraud Team of EFCC that investigated Maina, gave the narrative while giving evidence on Wednesday before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He said that the Pension Fraud Team was constituted in 2010 to conduct investigation into pension accounts audit at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation as well as the Police.

“During that time, Abdulrasheed Maina was the chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, established to restructure the pension office.

“He also became a subject of investigation. It was in the course of the investigation of Abdulrasheed Maina that the name of the defendant (Faisal) featured prominently.

“We investigated Maina’s money laundering deals, which included movement of funds from the police pension account and the accounts of the pension office of the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation to corporate entities as payment for biometric enrollment.

“The monies were also allegedly meant for the payment of collective allowances and payment of contracts, which were fraudulent,” he said.

He added that in the course of the investigation, a letter was sent to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to request for information on some of the companies they came across.

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“They obliged us with copies of incorporation, Form C02 and other documents, which revealed the directors of the companies and their shareholders.

“Also, we sent letters of investigation activities to banks and requested for details of accounts and they obliged us with these documents,” he said.

The EFCC operative explained further that sometimes in September 2019, the EFCC received an intelligence report that Abdulrasheed Maina was in the country but they did not know where he was.

“So, the EFCC liased with the DSS to assist us in effecting the arrest of Maina.

“He was eventually arrested along with the defendant (Faisal) on Sep. 29, 2019.

“The DSS handed them over to us on Oct. 2, 2019 along with some items recovered from them, which included cars and personal belongings in suitcases, handbags and Bagco bags.

“We granted them an opportunity to invite their lawyers because we were directed to record their statements.

“On Oct. 3, Faisal was interviewed in the presence of his lawyer. His statement was recorded in his own handwriting and signed.

“Additional statements were recorded about three or four times later. He also filled his declaration of assets form in the presence of his lawyer,” Goji said.

The witness added that during the investigation, they came across an account owned by Alhaji Faisal Abdullahi Farms, with the UBA, with Faisal and Abdulrasheed Maina as co-signatories.

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He added that the account was operated by Abdulrasheed Maina, with further investigation revealing that the account was funded with the proceeds of illegality.

“We came across the following companies: Drew Investment & Construction Company LTD, Cruise City Ltd, Northridge Property Int’l Ltd, Mambilla Resorts. These companies have the defendant (Faisal) as a director.

“We also discovered that a property at Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna, was acquired in the name of Drew Investment & Construction Ltd.

“We also discovered that another property at Gombe Road, Biu, Borno State was acquired in the name of Cruise City Ltd.

“We also discovered that a property at No. 3A Sambo Road, Kaduna, was acquired in the name of Faisal A. Abdullahi.

“A property at Plot 165 Life Camp, Abuja, was acquired in the name of Doctor Faisal A. Abdullahi.

“A property at No 16e, Kajuru road, Kaduna was also acquired in the name of Faisal A. Abdullahi,” he stated.

Goji, who told the court that the full name of the defendant is Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, hinted that in the course of filling the declaration of assets form, Faisal indicated his grandfather’s name as Abdullahi.

Justice Abang adjourned till Dec. 16 and 17 for continuation of trial.

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