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Friday, May 13, 2022

Maina’s Jail Sentence: Nigerians React

Nigerians have taken to social media platforms to dispute the jail sentence on Maina, as pronounced by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Here is a report by Punch newspaper regarding Maina and his jail sentence:

“Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday sentenced a former chairman of now-defunct Pension Reforms Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, guilty to 61 years’ imprisonment but to run concurrently for eight years.

The court had found him guilty of inducing staff of Fidelity Bank to open bank accounts for him without conducting due diligence and money laundering.Maina

Delivering the judgement, Justice Abang also found him guilty of concealing his true identity as signatory to accounts opened in UBA and Fidelity Bank by using the identity of his family members without their knowledge.

These accounts were said to have cash deposits of N300 million, N500 million and N1.5 billion.

The court held that Maina stole monies meant for pensioners as he could not prove where he got same from.

Justice Abang also held that through Maina’s service as a civil servant, his salary and emoluments would not amount to the monies in these accounts.

The court further held that the prosecution (the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), produced essential evidence through witnesses called, to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Maina was also guilty of money laundering in sum of N171,099,000.

This formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act, the court ruled.

On whether Maina was sentenced to 8 years or 61 years, Onyekachi Igwe has this to say, “he is guilty of several charges which if he should serve the jail terms one after another, he will spend a total of 61yrs.

“However, he is to serve the jail terms of all the crimes at the same time, so he will spend 8yrs instead”.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians are enraged over the light sentence passed on Maina, considering the thousands of lives he destroyed by witholding from them their pensions and gratuities.

One of those who spoke his mind regarding Maina’s sentence is Henry Porche Onyejiaka. He said ” 61 years is small. Maina is responsible for the deaths of many old pensioners who died from hardship and lack of pay”.

Many are of the opinion that the jail term pronounced on Maina is nothing but a charade to appease angry Nigerians. According to them, he won’t stay in prison more than a few weeks before being whisked off to an undisclosed location (country) to lay low and enjoy all the loots he stashed in different foreign accounts.

It can be recalled that Maina’s son, Faisal Maina, was recently sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for money laundering.

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