BY EMEKA EJERE
Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), has fled to the United States of America (USA), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said.
EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, informed Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja about the situation on Thursday.
According to Abubakar, Faisal sneaked into America through the Republic of Niger.
Faisal, who is standing trial on charges of money laundering, had jumped bail refusing to attend trial since November 24, 2020.
At the resumed trial, the lawyer to the anti-graft agency, Mohammed Abubakar told the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, that from the information at the disposal of the commission, 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,” 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. He urged the court to open an inquiry as to the true whereabouts of his client.
“The defendant personally called me the day he was taken into custody in Sokoto. Since then, every effort made to reach the defendant has been abortive. His phones are switched off.
“We are afraid for his life. We urge the court to cause an inquiry into the whereabouts of the defendant,” Adibe told the court.
Earlier in the course of the sitting, Justice Abang, in a committal proceeding, ordered Faisal’s surety, who is a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Dan-Galadima representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, to forfeit a N60million property used as a bail bond.
The further trial has been adjourned to March 31, 2021.
Earlier at the sitting, Justice Abang, in