Fraud: Abdulrasheed Maina Used UBA And Fidelity Banks To Launder Pensioners N2.1B Funds
Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairman of the now-defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, was found guilty of money laundering by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday NewsReport gathered
While further delivering his judgment, Justice Abang found Maina 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.
Recall that in 2019, Mairo Abdulahi Bashir, a business manager with United Bank for Africa, UBA, and first prosecution witness, (PW1), in the ongoing trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, November 29, 2019, disclosed that Maina used his sister’s name to open a secret bank account with the UBA, through which funds were transferred.
According to the witness, Maina passed off the account as belonging to his sister, while he actually operated it.
She revealed that sometime in 2011, she solicited funds from the defendant while he was the chairman of Pension Reforms Task Team and that Mr. Maina made a deposit of N3 billion in the UBA which she said, was later transferred to the Treasury Single Account, TSA with CBN around 2012.
To further grow the bank’s deposit base, the witness said she approached Mr. Maina for more deposits, prompting the defendant to open 12 accounts for himself and his immediate family members, which included two accounts for the defendant-one in Naira and another in United States Dollars.
Also two accounts for the defendant’s wife and accounts for his daughters: Fauzial Abdlrasheed Maina, Fareeda Abdlrasheed Maina, and Fadeela Abdlrasheed Maina.
In a judgment being delivered by Justice Okon Abang, the court 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.
The court added that the defendant (Maina), called only one witness to his defense when he had the opportunity to call as many as he could.
Justice Abang also held that through Maina’s service as a civil servant, his salary and emoluments will not amount to the monies in these accounts.
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.