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N2.1bn Fraud: Court Extends Maina, Son’s Detention

the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured an order of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Bwari, to detain a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, and his son, Faisal, in its custody pending the conclusion of ongoing investigations.

 The order, which was given on Monday following an ex parte application by the anti-graft agency, empowered the commission to remand the defendants in its custody for an initial period of 14 days.

 The court, however, noted that the order was subject to review if necessary, the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

 Maina and his son were arrested at an Abuja hotel by the operatives of the Department of State Services and were subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution on allegations of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2.1bn.

 Before he was handed over to the EFCC last Wednesday, Maina had evaded arrest for over four years.

The former director, Human Resources Department, Ministry of Interior, had been charged alongside a former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe, Fredrick Hamilton and Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on 24 counts bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining money under false pretences, in July 2015, but he fled the country.

Our correspondent reported that Maina had been visiting the country regularly from his base in United Arab Emirates, despite being under surveillance and on the watch list of security agencies.

He had been hibernating in UAE until he met with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in Dubai in 2016, during which he was reportedly assured of his safety in Nigeria.

 Following the assurances, Maina resumed at the Ministry of Interior where he was promoted Director, Human Resources Department, without sitting for the mandatory promotion examination.

 Malami had in November 2017 admitted before a Senate ad hoc panel probing Maina’s reinstatement into the civil service that he met with the former PRTT boss in Dubai.

Source: Punch.