By Simeon OSAJIE
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has said that the eight-year sentence imposed on the former Chairman of the Pension Reform TASK Team, Abdulrasheed Maina for laundering about N2.1 billion stands.
Delivering the ruling, a three-member panel unanimously affirmed the judgement read by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, convicting and sentencing him on November 8, 2021.
In the lead judgement, Justice Elfreda Williams-Daudu affirmed the various interlocutory rulings delivered in the course of the trial at the Federal High Court, which Maina appealed against.
The judge, who resolved the two issues identified for determination against Maina, held that the appellant was not denied fair hearing by the trial court and that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In November 2021, Maina was convicted after he was found guilty of money laundering.
Delivering judgement, Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja High Court had held that the prosecutor, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has produced essential evidence through witnesses to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Maina is guilty of money laundering in the sum of N171,099,000.
Maina was also found guilty of concealing his true identity as a signatory to accounts opened in two banks – UBA and Fidelity bank – by using the identity of his family members without their knowledge.
These accounts had cash deposits of N300million, N500million, and N1.5billion.
The court held that Maina stole monies meant for pensioners as he could not prove where he got them from.
The court also found Maina guilty for the purchase of a property in Abuja paid in cash in the sum of $1.4million, which is above the statutory threshold of N5million and without passing through a financial institution, describing it as a criminal offense.