Court orders forfeiture of Maina’s 23 properties to Federal Government

Abdulrasheed Maina, the Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team

Justice Folasade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the interim forfeiture of 23 properties belonging to Abdulrasheed Maina, the former boss of the Pension Reform Task Team.

The properties includes houses, estates, companies located in Abuja, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Borno States.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while moving the motion through its counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, noted that the properties were proceeds of unlawful activities during his time as the Pension Reform boss.

The motion was brought pursuant to Section 17(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

Maina was accused of corruption and consequently removed from office by Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. After his removal, he fled Nigeria to avoid prosecution, but returned following the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The High Court in its ruling order that the forfeiture order be published in a national daily newspaper. The aim is allow anyone with interest in the properties to come forward within 14 days before a final forfeiture order is granted.

A deponent, Mohammed Goji, in a 30-paragraph affidavit with 34 exhibits revealed that in 2010, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation invited the commission to assist in the verification biometric exercise of Federal Civil Service pensioners.

In the course of the verification exercise however, two fake pensioners were discovered, leading to a large scale investigation for more fake pensioners.  

 “That in the course of investigation, it was discovered that large scale corruption in the form of stealing and money laundering of pension fund had taken place, spearheaded by one Abdulrasheed Maina, who was the chairman of PRTT along with his accomplices.

 “That the said Abdulrasheed Maina alongside one of his cohorts, Stephen Oronsanye, the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation had set out to siphon funds belonging to the Federal Civil Service pensioners by setting up a fraudulent nationwide biometric enrolment exercise for pensioners on Federal Government payroll under the auspices of a Pension Reform Committee.”

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