Pension scam: Maina operated account in son’s name — Witness

The first prosecution witness, Mairo Abdulahi Bashir, in the trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, on Monday told a Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang, that Maina was the one doing all the transactions in the bank account he opened in the name of his son, Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, and that the defendant would always give her a call ahead or after any transfers to the account.
Bashir, a business manager with United Bank for Africa, during his continued cross-examination by defence counsel, Francis Oransanye, further told the court that Faisal was present at the bank to sign the mandate card and other account opening packages, but that his father rather signed and executed 90 per cent of all the bank transactions by himself.
She further testified that the company linked to Faisal, which carries Alhaji Faisal Farms II account, was run by his father.
Though the witness is a relative of the defendants, she told the court that she was not a stakeholder in Maina’s company, Common Input Properties Limited, and has never worked in the company.
She reaffirmed this position during her second cross-examination by counsel to the second defendant, Adeola Adedipe, adding that she did not know any persons, companies or business partners of Maina’s Common Input Properties Limited, which was pivotal in the defendant’s huge monetary transfers.
At the last sitting of the court, Bashir, while under cross-examination by defence counsel, Esther Uzoma, denied harbouring any hidden motives in her testimonies against the Mainas.
The denial followed the defence counsel’s accusation that the witness was harbouring ill-will against the defendants for allegedly not informing UBA authorities of the alleged Maina’s huge monetary transactions, including documents containing the alleged deposits and withdrawals in local and foreign currencies by Common Input and Properties Limited, said to belong to Maina, the first defendant.
Justice Abang adjourned both the matters of Maina and his son, Faisal, until December 10, 2019 for continuation of trial.
Both defendants are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on multiple fraud and money laundering charges.
While Maina is slammed with a 12-count charge of operating fictitious bank accounts, corruption, fraud and money laundering to the tune of over N12 billion, his son faces a three-count charge of money laundering, corruption and lack of full disclosure of asset.