Nigeria

Maina paid $1.4m for Abuja mansion, pocketed N146m DTA – EFCC witnesses

Prosecution witnesses testified against Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman, Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Maina in absentia.

He is facing a 12-count charge of operating fictitious bank accounts, corruption, and money laundering to the tune of N2billion.

The seventh prosecution witness (PW7), Ali Sani, an Abuja-based estate developer told the court that Maina, in February 2012, bought a property located on Plot 965 Life Camp.

The $1,400,000 property was purchased through a proxy, Khalid Aliyu (fifth prosecution witness).

Sani recalled that upon the purchase, Maina demanded for the plan approval, stating that he wanted to convert the building into a serviced apartment.

Ibrahim Abdulkareem who worked in Permanent Secretary’s office, Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), testified as the eight prosecution witness (PW8).

Currently a staff of Water Resources Ministry, he told the court that Maina, about 2010 was deployed from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Immigration Prison Service Pension Office in Gwagwalada, Abuja, to chair the PRTT.

Abdulkareem recalled that he was appointed as a representative of the Permanent Secretary’s office, to work with Maina.

The witness narrated that sometime in 2011, Maina presented an application for funds for nationwide biometric exercise, amounting to N146million and directed him to sign being a team member.

He said after approval, Maina directed that the funds be sent to five different accounts of staff in the Permanent Secretary’s office.

Abdulkareem disclosed that N55,998,000 was wired into his own account, while the rest was transferred to four colleagues.

The witness added that all the sums were sent back to Maina in installments through Maina’s secretary then, one Mrs Anne.

Abdulkareem said he made the secretary sign acknowledgments of receipt which have been submitted to the EFCC.

The civil servant added that Maina later directed him to give tender the original acknowledgements but did not give any staff a dime as Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) for the biometric exercise.

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