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Money Laundering: Appeal Court Upholds Faisal Maina’s Conviction

Channels Television  
Updated November 24, 2022
A file photo of Faisal Maina during his arraignment at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the conviction of Faisal Maina, the son of the jailed Ex-Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, for conspiracy and money laundering.

Delivering Judgement, a three-member panel of the appellate court however reduced his term of imprisonment from 14 to seven on the grounds that he is first time offender.

In the lead judgment by Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu, the court held that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja was right to have convicted Faisal.


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He was of the view that being a first time offender, the trial court ought not to have handed the convict the maximum punishment under the law.

Earlier in October 2021, Faisal Maina was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja gave the judgement on Thursday in the suit filed by the Federal Government against Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, on money laundering charges.

Faisal, who is standing trial on charges of money laundering, had jumped bail refusing to attend trial since November 24, 2020.

For Count 1, Justice Abang ordered that he be jailed for five years. In count two, he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with immediate effect.

The court also ordered that Faisal returns to the Federal Government, the sum of N58.1m and the company used, to wind up.

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For count three, he was jailed for five years and the court held that the terms would run concurrently.

Justice Abang further ordered the Federal Government to arrest Faisal wherever he is found in Nigeria and commit him to a correctional center. But if arrested outside Nigeria, the FG has been asked to lawfully extradite him to face his sentence.

A file photo of Faisal Maina during his arraignment at the Federal High Court in Abuja.


Faisal was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on October 25, 2019, and was granted bail on November 26, 2019, in the sum of 60 million naira with a surety in like sum.

He however jumped bail and stopped attending his trial.

On February 24, 2021, the EFCC alerted the court that he was on the run to the United States Of America (USA).

Lawyer to the anti-graft agency, Mohammed Abubakar, said from the information at the disposal of the commission, that Faisal Maina sneaked to the USA through the Republic of Niger despite his Nigerian and American passports still with the registry of the court.

“We have a bench warrant of the court for the arrest of the defendant and his apprehension before the court.

“We have been making serious efforts to execute the bench warrant but it has met challenges. The defendant has absconded to the USA,” the EFCC lawyer told the court.

Faisal Maina’s lawyer, Anayo Adibe, however, disputed the claim of the prosecution as he insists that his client was arrested by the Nigeria Police Force in Sokoto.