A Federal High Court In Abuja on Thursday has sentenced Faisal, son of the Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, to 24 years imprisonment.
Justice Okon Abang, in his judgment, held that Faisal, who was sentenced in absentia, was guilty of all the three-count charge.
Justice OKon, who handed down a five-year-jail term for count one bordering on money laundering offence, sentenced Faisal to 14 years imprisonment on count two.
The judge, thereafter, sentenced the son of the ex-pension reformed boss to five years prison term on count three which bordered on asset declaration offence.
Okon, however, ruled that the prison terms would run concurrently.
Recall that on July 16, Justice Abang had fixed the matter for judgment after the then Economic and Financial Cimes Commission (EFCC)’s Lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, adopted the commission”s final written address and urged the court to convict Faisal in all the three counts levelled against him.
Faisal’s Counsel, A. A . Onoja, who did not filed any final written address, had sought for an adjournment on the grounds that he was not briefed on the development in the case.
The EFCC lawyer, however, opposed his plea for an adjournment, arguing that on March 17 when the case was adjourned, Anayo Adibe, who appeared for Faisal, did not apply to file any written address, even after the ruling was delivered, saying “four months since that day, the defence has not done anything.”
The judge, who dismissed the application for adjournment, held that the request was made in bad faith.
Faisal, who is being prosecuted along his father, Maina, is standing a separate trial on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The defendant, who was arraigned by the EFCC on Oct. 25, 2019, was admitted to bail, on Nov. 26, 2019, in the sum of N60 million with a surety in the like sum who must be a member of House of Representatives.
However, Faisal jumped bail around September 2020 and stopped attending his trial.
The judge, on Nov. 25, 2020, summoned the lawmaker, Rep Sani Dan-Galadima, representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara, who stood as surety for Faisal, for disregarding court order to produce the defendant in court after he was granted bail.
Abang then revoked the bail granted Faisal, ordered his arrest and directed that his trial should proceed in absentia having being said to have jumped bail by the prosecution.
The judge also ordered the surety to forfeit the property which he used as a bail bond to the Federal Government, having failed to produce Faisal.
DAILY GIST reported that respective counsels had on February 4, argued about the whereabouts of the defendant who had jumped bail.
In his verdict on Thursday, Abang said he wondered how Faisal’s father could give about 50 million cash gifts to his son when that was beyond his annual salary.
“This is the moment of truth, regarding count 1, my lords, I am satisfied that the defendant operated an anonymous account with the United Bank of Africa. I agree entirely with the prosecution that the defendant cannot be a signatory of a business of which he is not a proprietor,” Abang added.
The judge convicted and sentenced Faisal on the three counts.
“Count 1: The convict is hereby sentenced to five years imprisonment
“Count 2: the convict is hereby sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with effect from today.
“Faisal Maina shall refund N58,111,585 to the federal government.
“Count3: the convict is hereby sentenced to 5 years imprisonment,” the judge said adding that the terms of the imprisonment shall run concorrently.
He said said that since Faisal was absent from court, the FG should arrest or extradit him from any part of the country to serve his jail terms.
“The FG shall arrest the convict anywhere found in the country and commit him to serve his jail term, if not found in the country, the FG shall commence extradition proceedings against him,” he said.
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