The Federal High Court has sentenced Faisal Maina, the son of the embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to 24 years in prison having convicted him of three charges bordering on money laundering.
Trial judge Okong Abang, in his judgement on Thursday said that the Prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in corrupt acts.
Faisal was not present in court himself and the court had issued a bench warrant against him.
The defendant was arraigned before the court in 2019 on a three-count money laundering charge but he pleaded not guilty.
He was accused of allegedly opening an anonymous account so as to conceal his identity as well as failing to make full disclosure of his assets and liabilities to the EFCC regarding the allegations levelled against him.
But Faisal, in his extrajudicial statement, said the monies in the account were cash gifts from his father, who is also separately tried before the court.
Recall that visiting judge, Okong Abang had adjourned for judgement after the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, M.S. Abubakar, adopted his written address while urging the judge to convict the defendant on the three-count charge leveled against him.
In his verdict on Thursday, Abang said he wondered how Faisal’s father could give about 50 million naira 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 concurrently.
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.